World Bulletin / News Desk
Kenya said its navy hit military targets belonging to al Shabaab members in the port of Kismayu in south Somalia on Wednesday, ahead of a ground assault on the fighters' last bastion.
Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the Kenyan navy shelled insurgent gun placements on the jetty at Kismayu on Wednesday morning, after fighter jets launched air strikes on a warehouse and armoury near the airport on Tuesday.
"It is what we call shaping up operations for the eventual attack on Kismayu. The attack by ground forces is not yet (on). What we hit yesterday are targets we have been mapping for some time," Oguna told Reuters.
Local residents confirmed both the air strikes and the shelling. Oguna said there were no immediate details of any casualties.
"We have information that there were a lot of explosions after the warehouse was hit and the armoury as well so these were basically munitions and guns, mainly machine guns and anti aircraft guns," he said.
The Kenyans, who are expected to lead the assault on Kismayu, are now within 40-50 km (24-30 miles) of the port city at Jana Cabdallah.
"As and when the time is right, they will begin to march towards Kismayu," Oguna said.