Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
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Kismayu to fall soon, Somalia forces say

Daily Nation
Friday, August 31, 2012

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Mr Aden Ahmed Hersi, a government spokesman in the Juba regions has told the media that pro-government forces have almost surrounded the port town of Kismayu.

“Kenya navy is just 15 miles away,” said Mr Hersi. He added that apart from land forces, Kismayu was under air surveillance.

“We are committed to remove the black banner (Al-Shabaab’s symbol) and raise Somalia’s blue colour flag all over Jubaland,” vowed the spokesman.

Meanwhile, army officials in Somalia’s Juba region have confirmed that more fighting has taken place between the provincial town of Afmadow and the port town of Kismayu, 500 kilometres south of Mogadishu.

The fighting today was continuation of the attacks by pro-government forces on positions held by fighters loyal to Al-Shabaab, the radical Islamist group.

Brigadier General Ismael Sahardeed, the commander of Somali government force in Jubaland, claimed that the allied forces killed nearly 60 Al-Shabaab militants.

He added that the allied troops destroyed a number of vehicles during the attacks. 

“We are going to employ carefully crafted strategy to seize Kismayu,” said Brigadier Gen Sahardeed. He added, “We are employing military tactics to capture the town (of Kismayu) within a week.”

In another development, Amisom troops and government forces seized the town of Marka, 110 km south of Mogadishu early this week.

Afterwards, the Force Commander, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, said the capture of Marka would enhance security across Somalia by denying the terrorists a base from which to launch attacks.

“Amisom is committed to supporting the peace process in Somalia and this operation will not only bring relief to the population in Marka, but will also help in the liberation of Kismayu,” said Lt. Gen. Gutti.


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