Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Somali forces arrest 100 al-Shabab suspects in Kismayo

Friday, October 05, 2012

“Those suspects were detained from different sectors of the town and they are now in custody,” said General Ismael Sahardid, Somalia’s army commander in the southern region of Lower Juba, on Wednesday.

He added that the army operations are part of efforts to strengthen the security of Kismayo after heavy explosions rocked the southern city on October 2.

On September 28, Kenyan forces took control of Kismayo that serves al-Shabab fighters as a major stronghold and has provided them with lucrative revenues via control of its Indian Ocean port.

Residents also saw the government forces thoroughly searching hotels, houses, vehicles and business premises.

Kismayo is a strategically important city on Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast, located some 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years, and is propped up by a strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.


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