Ras Kamboni, at the southernmost tip of Somalia, has been a stronghold for jihadist activity and a conduit for al-Qaeda for a number of years, as illustrated by this BBC report from December, 2001. Its capture is a significant victory.
“Islamic hideout in Somalia said captured,” by Mohamed Olad Hassan for AP:
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Ethiopian-backed government forces captured the last remaining stronghold of the Islamic movement in southern Somalia, the Somali defense minister said Friday, hours after warlords met with the president and promised to enlist
their militiamen in the army.
The southern town of Ras Kamboni fell after five days of heavy fighting, Defense Minister Col. Barre “Hirale” Aden Shire told The Associated Press. He said government troops backed by Ethiopian forces and MiG fighter jets chased fleeing Islamic fighters into nearby forests and the fighting would continue. He did not give casualty figures.
Ras Kamboni is in a rugged coastal area a few miles from the Kenyan border. It is not far from the site of a U.S. airstrike Monday targeting suspected al-Qaida militants “” the first U.S. offensive in Somalia since 18 American soldiers were killed here in
The report of the town’s fall came after Somalia’s warlords met with President Abdullahi Yusuf in the capital of Mogadishu and pledged to disarm their militias, a major step toward bringing calm to this city after years of chaos.