An Al-Shabaab training centre in Burgabo, a village deep within southern Somalia, was bombed and captured by Kenya’s and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government forces. Burgabo has an estimated population of 300 people.
The Thursday evening operation came hours after the troops killed nine Al-Shabaab militants during an ambush at Anole in which two Kenyan soldiers were injured.
Sources within the military and security agencies told the Nation that the number of casualties was not immediately established.
The training centre was bombed several times before ground troops moved in to secure the area and set up base, ready for onward march.
According to an anonymous source, Burgabo was the third Al-Shabaab training centre to have come under the forces air strikes.
Military spokesman, Maj Emmanuel Chirchir, told the Nation that the troops cleared Burgabo without any contact with the Al-Shabaab.
The militants had, on Thursday, ambushed Kenyan troops, but were repulsed in a counter-attack by the ground troops backed by jetfighters, killing the nine militants.
Residents of a nearby Kudai Village said that blasts from the bombing raids could be heard as far away as Bajuni Islands of Mdoa, Koyama, Chovyae and Kanda Yuu, which are several kilometers away.
The arrival of Kenya troops in Burgabo is seen as a major step towards the intended capture of the port town of Kismayu.
The forces have two options for Kismayu capture. They can take the mainland route from Kudai, Instanbul, Fuma, Mchoni or travel by road to Kudai village, cross the Bush-Bush channel and travel to Kismayu after passing the Bajuni Islands of Koyama-Chovyae-Kanda Yuu.