Al-Shebab Terrorist Driven Out of Kismayo By AU Forces

Members of the Somali Army

Islamist Al-Shebab insurgents has been driven out of the southern Somalia port city of Kismayo, its last stronghold, following fighting with African Union forces.

The group withdrew from many parts of the city following an offensive by the Somali government troops and Kenyan defence forces in the last 24 hours.

Witnesses in Kismayo said the allied forces have not yet in full control of the heart of the town, and people have begun mass looting offices and buildings of the defunct group.

Residents also confirmed the al-Shebab controlled radio station, Radio Andalus, has been off the air this morning. The insurgents also took all the equipment belonging to the station.

According to residents in the town, there are civilian casualties mainly because they were caught in the crossfire.

However, details of casualties on the warring sides are very sketchy.

There has been sporadic gunfire overnight as al-Shebab fighters set up defensive cover from tall buildings and in the centre of the town before they finally made a tactical retreat

Local residents confirmed that al-Shebab fighters used anti-aircraft guns, and Kenyan warplanes returned fire as they bombarded al-Shebab militant targets inside Kismayo.

Foreign fighters as well as Somalis took part in the latest fighting as they urged residents to wake up and defend the city from what they called the invading enemy .

Kismayo’s recapture would go a long way towards stabilising Somalia, which has lacked effective central government for the past 20 years.