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Somalia's Shebab display bodies of enemy combattants

Saturday, September 01, 2012

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NAIROBI — Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants on Saturday put on show the bodies of four "enemy" soldiers killed in combat in their stronghold of Kismayo, in southern Somalia, witnesses told AFP.

"We saw the bodies of four men in uniform put on show in Kismayo by the Shebab," a local man in the port town, Hassan Abdi Mohamud, told AFP by telephone.

"Two of the dead were Somalis fighting for the transition federal government and the other two were Kenyan soldiers," he claimed.

The bodies had been brought back from Afmadow, some 120 kilometres (90 miles) from Kismayo, where the Shebab launched an offensive on Friday, after being forced out of the town last May by the advance of the Kenyan army.

Witness Mohamed Abdi Mohadmu said, "The bodies were brought to Kismayo during the night and inhabitants were called out to come and see them."

The Kenyan army, which went into Somalia last October with the aim of neutralising Shebab militants blamed for terrorist acts in Kenya, has been pondering an assault on Kismayo for months but it has yet to materialise.

The port in southern Somalia is the last major bastion of the Shebab, who have been forced out of their other main strongholds in the south and centre of the country by Kenyan, Ethiopian and African Union soldiers backed by Somalia's weak pro-government armed forces.

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