Somali militants abandon city

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Al-Shabab rebels pulled out of a key port city in southern Somalia, the group said Saturday, a day after Kenyan troops invaded and marched toward the city center and seaside port that long served as the militants’ key source of funding, officials said.

Residents in Kismayo said they woke to find police and government headquarters abandoned by the militants, sparking a looting spree of the government and police headquarters.

“They withdrew from here last night. The town is not under anyone’s control now,” said Mohamed Hassan, a resident. “People feel some relief now. We hope no more fighting will take place.”

As it no longer holds any major cities in Somalia, al-Shabab is expected to operate more as an insurgent force that carries out suicide and roadside bomb attacks.


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