African Union forces with Somali troops take control of Kismayo Islamist rebel city Somalia 2809122
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Defense News - Somalia
|Friday, September 28, 2012, 09:20 AM|
|African Union forces with Somali troops take control of Kismayo Islamist rebel city in Somalia.|
African Union (AU) forces with Kenyan and Somali troops have launched a beach assault and taken control of parts of Kismayo, the last major Islamist militant bastion in southern Somalia, Kenya's military says. The port city has been a stronghold of the al-Qaeda-aligned group al-Shabab.
Kenya sent its troops into Somalia last October after the fighters were blamed for a series of raids on Kenyan soil targeting its security forces as well as Western tourists.
The Kenyan troops are part of the AU's Amisom force, which is trying to wrest control of the country for the newly elected UN-backed president.
Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna confirmed to the BBC that parts of Kismayo had been captured and the rest was expected to fall soon.
Mr Oguna said the joint operation of Kenyan Defence Forces and Somali government troops had begun at 02:00 local time (23:00 GMT Thursday) and was "basically amphibious".