KISMAYO, Somalia Aug 14 2012 (Garowe Online) – Heavy air and
sea strikes reportedly by the Kenyan military on the southern port city of
Kismayo resulted in 5 civilian deaths on Sunday which did not stop more
shelling on Monday, Garowe Online reports.
The barrage of strikes reportedly by Kenya’s navy and air force on the
Al Shabaab controlled port city of Kismayo resulted in at least 5 civilian
casualties and four other injuries.
According to local sources the civilian casualties occurred after
a mortar hit a family’s house in the V- Afmadow neighborhood late Sunday
evening killing 4 members of one family.
Among the killed was an 11 year old child, who according to
witnesses, said that the child was playing outside his home when the shelling
began and ran into his home to escape the strikes.
There have been no reports of Al Shabaab agents being killed in the air strikes although according to sources top Al Shabaab officials' homes were targeted in the strikes.
The barrage of strikes in the lower Jubba region continued
on Monday, the district of Afmadow which is located 110 kms away from Kismayo
was reportedly hit with strikes from Kenyan naval ships on Monday night.
It is unclear how many civilian casualties were sustained in
The onslaught on the port city of Kismayo has intensified as
Somalia is set to select a new president later this month.
There has been an increase in air and sea attacks by allied
forces after Al Shabaab have fortified the city to defend against the
Many residents of Kismayo have fled their homes and
businesses to escape the imminent battle between the two.
Al Shabaab agents operating in Kismayo have repeatedly
requested that Kismayo residents take up arms against the allied forces.
However local sources say that the requests have fallen on deaf ears as
residents have fled the city or have chosen not to involve themselves in the
One Kismayo resident who spoke to Garowe Online under the
alias of Farah explained that Al Shabaab don’t force residents into recruitment
but try to persuade people into battle.
“They tell you that the invaders will rob, kill and pillage
and that they won’t care if you are Al Shabaab or not. With some residents that
resonates with them because they see their neighbor or friend or family members
being killed in strikes like Mondays,” said Farah.
Despite Kenya’s sluggish start against Al Shabaab last October,
in the past months the forces have managed to gain ground on the terrorist
organization who has ruled southern Somalia for many years.