Sept. 29 - Kenyan troops launch a pre-dawn attack on the Somali port city of Kismayu in an assault to drive militants from their last major stronghold. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
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(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Kenyan troops launched a pre-dawn attack on the Somali port city of Kismayu on Friday (September 28) in an assault to drive al Qaeda linked al Shabaab militants from their last major stronghold.
Fighting and shelling was taking place on the city's beaches after a land and water assault, residents and rebels said.
The loss of the southern port would deal a huge blow to al Shabaab as it is a lucrative source of revenue and a centre for operations over areas it has controlled in south-central Somalia since 2007.
The group, which formally merged with al Qaeda in February, has been steadily losing its footholds under sustained pressure from African peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) and Somali government troops for the past year.
While Kismayu's recapture would go a long way towards stabilising Somalia, which has lacked effective central government for the past 20 years, it may embolden the militants to resort to more guerrilla-style attacks.
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