KISMAYO, Somalia Sep 17 2012 (Garowe Online) – Allied forces
have claimed victory in a battle lasting 3 days in which over 50 people were
killed as the allied forces continue their assault on Al Shabaab, Garowe Online
According to local sources, over 50 people from the battling
sides in the clashes over the weekend in the lower Jubba region.
Somali military officials, who spoke to GO, said that they had
minimal casualties in the battle although they did not disclose the number.
The allied forces said that they had taken over the town of Birta Dheer a
defensive stronghold for the Al Shabaab, located 70 kms north of Kismayo.
Al Shabaab has been fighting for the past week to remain in
control of Birta Dheer which is a junction point linking Afmadow and other major
districts in the lower Jubba region.
Somali and Kenyan
forces have reiterated their commitment to capture the port city of Kismayo within
the next week.
“We are %100 committed to capturing Kismayo within the next
week and we can say this because we have broken Al Shabaab’s defenses,” said
Mohamed Hassan Barre a Somali military official battling in the lower Jubba
The allied forces have taken over defensive strongholds
north and west of Kismayo taking control of Miido located 86 kms west of
Kismayo and Biibi 80 kms north of Kismayo which allied forces captured on
The heavy clashes were reportedly one of the most deadly
battles as of yet in the Kismayo offensive as of late.
Locals in lower Jubba region who spoke to GO under anonymity
stated that there were many Al Shabaab insurgents fleeing towards Kismayo
carrying countless injured militants.
More attacks on Al Shabaab strongholds in the coming days are
expected as many residents flee the lower Jubba region.
The Al Shabaab have retreated from many major strongholds
such as Marko, Afgoye, Baidoa and now uncorroborated reports say they have fled
According to the unconfirmed reports, many Al Shabaab
insurgents fled Kismayo on Monday towards Jilib south of Kismayo.
The Al Shabaab Twitter account stated that the militants had
brought a Kenyan helicopter in the clashes.
However Kenyan officials have denied the claim and have
repeatedly denied accusations of Al Shabaab militants destroying Kenyan