World Bulletin / News Desk
Somalia's al Shabaab retreated from the southern port of Kismayu overnight, abandoning the last major bastion of their five-year revolt to an offensive by African Union and Somali government troops.
The loss of Kismayu a day after it was attacked by Kenyan and Somali soldiers backed by air strikes is a major blow to the insurgents, weakening morale and depriving them of revenue from taxing local businesses and shipping.
"We moved out our fighters ... from Kismayu at midnight," al Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, told Reuters on Saturday, promising to strike back. "The enemies have not yet entered the town. Let them enter Kismayu which will soon turn into a battlefield."
The Kenya Defence Force (KDF) said two regional insurgent commanders, Sheikh Hassan Yakub and Sheikh Abdikarim Adow, were killed in air strikes in the city late on Friday and that another five insurgents were killed in combat. Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, told Reuters the fighters had suffered no losses.
Al Shabaab has pulled out of a number of urban areas including the capital, Mogadishu, in recent months under pressure from African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces and the Somali government.
The government in Mogadishu said Kismayu was now under its control and called on residents to co-operate with security agencies and AU forces in improving security.
Kenyan military spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna declined to comment on the statement by the Somali government, saying Kenyan troops, fighting under the AMISOM banner, were yet to take control of the port facilities.
Locals confirmed the fighters had pulled out under the cover of darkness but said Kenyan and Somali soldiers were still camped on the city's outskirts.
Residents said the fighters who abandoned Kismayu had moved to jungles that lie between Kismayu and Afmadow to the north, as well as to other towns north of the port city like Jamame and Kabsuma.
Over 2,000 people visited the Conakry mosque to have a Friday prayer
German government says up to Greece to act to stay in euro with the German Vice Chancellor saying that the conditions for talks on new bailout plan not yet met
The IMF has stated that it is monitoring the situation in Greece and will assist Greece if asked.
Ukraine has ordered Naftogaz to use fund to finance the purchase, transport and storage of gas.
Ansar Dine on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in Mali near the borders with Mauritania and Ivory Coast
Austria has filed a complaint at the European Court of Justice against EU-granted state subsidies for a new nuclear power plant in Britain.
A new US trained police force will replace the previously corrupt police force to enforce new reforms.
Romania has now taken a six-month leadership role of Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
ISIL has reportedly advanced into Baiji and have captured a number of neighbourhoods in the city.
The ruling party has accused the UN mediator of meeting only with the opposition.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has requested a conversation with Greek prime minister and Greek energy minister
The passing of new asylum rules has given Hungary the legal framework for the erection of a border fence to stop the flow of asylum seekers.
After 61pc voted 'no' in the Greece referendum, the reactions of the world leaders continue.
Britain is ready to hold a number of memorial services marking the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica
Top euro zone shares fell 1.7 percent in early trading on Monday after Greek voters rejected austerity measures
An U.N expert on foreign debt, says reporters the creditors should have paid more attention to what international law says on the matter of debt.