News / Africa

Bombing Rocks Kismayo as Factions Fight for Control

In the Somali city of Kismayo, Kenyan forces took casualties Thursday when their convoy hit a roadside bomb. The attack comes as rival militias supporting different men for the leadership of newly created Jubaland state fight for control of the port city.

Witnesses and officials say a powerful roadside bomb has rocked Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo. The explosion hit a convoy of military vehicles carrying Kenyan forces on patrol in the city.

One witness at the scene of the attack, who only gave his first name as Samatar, told VOA the military convoy was destroyed and he saw the bodies of several dead soldiers.  

“I was walking on the other side of the road. Suddenly I heard a powerful bomb explosion. It knocked me to the ground and I was covered in dust. When the dust settled I saw eight to nine Kenyan soldiers, apparently dead and four Somali school children,” he said.

Samatar said that after the explosion the troops in other convoys started shooting.

Abdinasir Serar of the Ras Kamboni militia group confirmed to VOA that there was an attack apparently targeting Kenyan forces.

“Yes, there was an attack and they [Kenyan forces] had some casualties, and we haven’t heard of any civilian casualties. We have started carrying out an investigation about how the attack happened and who was behind it,” said Serar.

Serar denied the account of some witnesses that the Kenyan forces started opening fire on civilians after the attack, but says the gunfire was between rival militias fighting in the city earlier.

The port city has been simmering with tension since last month after three different clan leaders said they were president of the newly created Jubaland region.

For weeks now, Kismayo has witnessed deadly clashes in the city between rival clan militias fighting over the control of the lucrative port.

The United Nations reported that the first battle between militias earlier this month claimed the lives of at least 31 civilians. Dozens more were reported injured.

Serar blames militant group al-Shabab and the Somali government for the deterioration of the security in the city.

“We can say they are different groups involved in the latest wave of insecurity in the city, there is al-Shabab, and the Somali government is also involved in the latest violence. These two groups have people on the ground carrying out these attacks. These are the same people attacking people in the streets and also firing on Kenyan forces,” said Serar.

There is a growing fear that al-Shabab will carry out attacks as tension and fighting continues. Al-Shabab controlled the city and its port for several years before Kenyan and Somali forces kicked them out last year.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid