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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Somalia: Somali and African Union Forces Claim Victory in Two Day Battle

Kismayo, Somalia — Somali and African Union forces announced that they captured the town of Miido in the lower Jubba region after an intense battle with Al Shabaab, Garowe Online reports.

Lieutenant General Andrew Gutti Commander of the AMISOM forces stated on Sunday that his forces have taken control of Miido located 86 kms away from Kismayo, which had been controlled by Al Shabaab.

"The operations were successful, Somali and AMISOM forces have taken over the town of Miido and we will continue on to Kismayo," said Lt. Gen. Gutti.

Allied forces battled with Al Shabaab over the strategic town of Miido which lies in between Afmadow and Kismayo.

Miido is located 25 kms away from Afmadow towards Kismayo and up until Saturday was a defense stronghold for the terrorist organization.

AMISOM denied reports that stated that the district of Afmadow controlled by the allied forces was taken over by Al Shabaab.

Afmadow had been in the control of allied forces since June and Al Shabaab has fought furiously to regain control.

AMISOM also denied that a helicopter belonging to the African Union forces was shot down by Al Shabaab.

According to the AMISOM official website Lt. Gen Gutti stated that the reports were "untrue Al Shabaab propaganda".

AMISOM reported 36 Al Shabaab militants were killed in the battle.

Al Shabaab who claimed victory in the two day battle released pictures of four allied forces bodies on Saturday.

AMISOM spokesman Col. Ali Adan Hamud said the pictures were disgraceful.

"The soldiers being dragged in Kismayo was very despicable and a shameful act," said spokesman Col. Hamud.

Late Saturday after Al Shabaab militants dragged the bodies of four soldiers in the streets of Kismayo, warships stationed in the waters off of Kismayo launched strikes at the city.

Reportedly the strikes hit some parts of the port and the outskirts of the city. As of yet, there are no reports of casualties from the strikes.

According to some reports the shelling came from AMISOM vessels.

There are reports of more and more residents fleeing Kismayo as the allied forces edge closer to Kismayo.