Somalia: Al Shabaab fighters vacate Kudhaa Island
KISMAYO, Somalia Nov 10, 2014 (Garowe Online)-Somalia’s Al Qaeda-backed Al Shabaab militants have fled strategic Kudhaa Island on the Indian Ocean on Monday afternoon as witnesses reported of two landmine blasts in the southern port city of Kismayo, Garowe Online reports.
Al Shabaab fighters in armored fighting vehicles retreated from Kudhaa, kidnapping undisclosed number of civilians according to residents who spoke to GO on condition of anonymity.
The immediate pullout by militants is unclear but the move follows remarks being made by Jubaland spokesman Abdinasir Serar Mah on Sunday.
Mah vowed that Jubaland forces will be taking back Kudhaa from Al Shabaab by force.
Kudhaa, 70km southwest of the southern port city of Kismayo was once a spot for illegal charcoal trade.
Torrential rains made the only road that leads to Kudhaa inaccessible, security sources unveil.
Meanwhile, two separate roadside bombings targeted Jubaland security forces in Kismayo, resulting in no casualties.
On Monday morning, vehicle-borne improvised explosive device got foiled shortly after troop-transport vehicle belonging to Jubaland army drove nearby along Haji Jama road in Fanole neighborhood.
Overnight on Sunday, another landmine explosion hit armored vehicle near Hared mosque in Kismayo’s Gulwade neighborhood.
Jubaland forces along with Kenyan-AMISOM peacekeepers have been battling beleaguered Al Shabaab militants, liberating a string of strategic areas.