After an overnight operation, Kenya is claiming a victory in a raid on the final port city held by al Qaeda militants in Somalia. This claim is disputed by locals in Kismayo.
The port city of Kismayo in Somalia was raided by Kenyan troops in an overnight attack. The troops used a beach landing to start the assault.
"Ships have brought Kenyan troops on our Kismayu beach last night," said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab's spokesman for military operations, in an interview with Reuters. "Fierce fighting between us and them is going on now."
Victory was claimed by the Kenyans early on Friday, saying they were now in control of what it said was the last remaining port city in Somalia held by al-Shabab militants, who are linked to al Qaeda.
The Kenyans' claim was disputed, however, by locals who said that the port - but not the whole city - was under the troops' control. The beach where the troops landed is located on the outskirts of the city. Residents also reported that al-Shabab's radio station was still operating.
Kenya is one country taking part in an African Union peacekeeping force charged with taking out rebel strongholds. The force pushed al-Shabab out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011.
mz/rg (Reuters, AFP, AP)
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