MOGADISHU, Somalia, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A spokesman for al-Shabaab said Friday that Kenyan forces don't have full control over one of the militants' remaining strongholds in war-torn Somalia.
Military forces on Thursday dropped leaflets over the Somali city of Kismayo warning civilians to evacuate. Kenyan forces fighting in support of the fledgling Somalia government stormed the beaches in a Friday assault aimed at taking control over the city.
Abu Musab, a spokesman for al-Shabaab, told the BBC that Kenyan forces hadn't taken control of the city.
"It is a lie that Kenyan troops have captured Kismayo," he said. "But what they have done was a cowardly act, which was that they brought in troops in four ships to try to capture the city."
Residents remaining in the city told the BBC they hadn't seen Kenyan or Somali forces in the central part of Kismayo though heavy shelling was reported just outside the city.
Al-Shabaab was suspected of using Kismayo to move weapons into the country. Kenyan military spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna told the broadcaster there were some parts of the city still under al-Shabaab's control.
A radio station controlled by al-Shabaab was said to be on the air Friday.
Somalia elected a series of political representatives recently in a move that marks the first time a government has been seated formally in Mogadishu since the early 1990s.
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