KISMAYO, Somalia Oct 1 (Garowe Online) -
Dozens of people have been killed in Somalia's port town of Kismayo after heavy fighting erupted among Islamist factions, Radio Garowe reports.
The fighting erupted Thursday morning around 7am local time in areas controlled by Hizbul Islam, a rebel group fighting to overthrow Somalia's interim government in the capital Mogadishu.
At least 25 people have been killed, with most of the dead victims described as fighters. However, 10 people reportedly died in a car accident in the outskirts of Kismayo, with local sources saying that the 10 dead victims inside the overturned car were civilians fleeing the violence in Kismayo.
At least 8 civilians were killed in a neighborhood of Kismayo, including four members of a single family, according to an independent reporter in Kismayo who spoke with Garowe Online on the condition of anonymity.
Al Shabaab commanders have spoken on the rebel group's own Radio Al-Andulus in Kismayo, claiming that Hizbul Islam fighters have "surrendered" over to Al Shabaab.
As of 1pm local time, Al Shabaab fighters are in control of the town's administrative building, the police station, the central jail and the international airport.
Hizbul Islam fighters control Kismayo's northern neighborhoods and the city's port facility, although no fighting was reported around the port area, according to independent sources.
Unconfirmed reports said fighters and armed trucks led by Sheikh Hassan "Turki" Abdullahi, deputy chairman of Hizbul Islam, left Mogadishu and on route to Kismayo to reinforce Hizbul Islam fighters.
Islamist fighters in Somalia declare war on each other
Source: Garowe Online