Somali troops and AU forces control Kismayu's airport
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - 01:14
Oct. 3 - Somalia's al Shabaab rebels have been pushed out of Kismayu, the last major bastion of their five-year revolt, as Somali troops and African Union forces take control of the airport there. Sarah Sheffer reports.
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Somali troops and allied militia fighters backed by African Union soldiers drove al-Shabaab rebels out of their stronghold of Kismayu on Tuesday.
AMISOM and Somali forces took control of Kismayu's airport, with the country's troops holding a flag atop the airport tower.
Lieutenant Colonel Hassan, the battle commander of AMISOM's Kenyan contingent, said they did not meet any resistance as they marched to the city.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AMISOM KENYAN CONTINGENT BATTLE COMMANDER, LT. COL HASSAN, SAYING:
"The roads are very poor, the roads are not very good, it rained so our vehicles were stuck. We had a bit of challenges, but we never had any challenges in terms of al Shabaab. Al Shabaab have actually deserted Kismayu port city, they have actually deserted the area, so we never had any challenges, we actually entered the town without any resistance and we came all the way to the airport without any resistance"
Locals scrambled for cover as the troops launched their attack on the al-Qaeda-linked militants by sea, air and land.
Al-Shabaab rebel group, which formally merged with al Qaeda in February, is seen as one of the biggest threats to stability in the Horn of Africa.
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