Kenya’s military said its troops attacked the last remaining port city held by al-Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia during an overnight attack involving a beach landing.
Kenyan military spokesmen quickly claimed victory early Friday, saying their troops now control the city of Kismayo.
But residents in Kismayo contacted by AP said that Kenyan troops had taken control of the port but not the whole city. Mohamed Haji said that helicopters were attacking the town and that al-Shabab fighters were moving toward the frontline. Residents said al-Shabab’s radio station was still on the air.
African Union troops pushed al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in 2011. Kismayo is seen as the militants’ last stronghold because of the taxes they are able to charge on goods coming into the port.