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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Somalia: Bloody Battle in Jubba Region, As the Battle for Kismayo Intensifies

Kismayo, Somalia — Heavy clashes between allied forces and Al Shabaab lead to many deaths on Saturday as the conquest for Kismayo continues, Garowe Online reports.

Kenyan forces, Raskamboni militia and Somali government forces battled Al Shabaab in the town of Miido in the lower Jubba region on Friday.

Both sides used heavy artillery on each other as the allied forces fought Al Shabaab late into the night Friday.

According to local sources, the allied forces were assisted by helicopters during their battle with Al Shabaab.

It is still unclear how many casualties were sustained in the battle although both sides claim victory on Saturday.

Al Shabaab on Saturday dragged the bodies of four allied soldiers, reportedly 2 Kenyan and 2 Somalis through the streets of Kismayo.

According to residents, many watched in horror as the Al Shabaab tied the bodies to cars and dragged them through the streets.

Al Shabaab Head of Kismayo Sheikh Hasan Yaqoub who spoke to media said that his militants would keep fighting the allied forces and added that their capturing of Kismayo was just a dream.

Pro Al Shabaab websites wrote that Friday's battle was a disaster for the allied forces and resulted in the loss of a helicopter in battle.

Both the Somali government and the Kenyan military did not release a statement on the battle on Friday.

Independent sources cannot verify if the allied forces did in fact lose a helicopter in the battle on Friday.

The spokesman for Somali government troops in Juba region, Adan Ahmed Hersi stated that Kismayo the port city controlled by Al Shabaab would be captured in the coming days.

However some military analysts have stated that the battle for Kismayo could be dragged on for quite some time due to miscalculations by the allied forces that have been battling Al Shabaab in southern Somalia since October 2011.