Kenyan forces, militants clash in S. Somalia; 5 killed

NAIROBI – At least five people were killed on Tuesday in clashes between Kenyan forces and Al-Shabaab militants near the southern port city of Kismayo.

"I have gathered from Jubaland authorities that five people were killed in the fighting. Four are Al-Shabaab [militants] and one civilian," Interior Ministry official Mohamed Osman told The Anadolu Agency.

The fighting took place in the village of Yontoy, several kilometers north of Kismayo.

A vehicle said to belong to the militant group was destroyed in the fighting.

Kenyan forces, which are part of African peacekeeping force AMISOM, have been based in Kismayo since capturing it in 2012.

Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.

Earlier this year, fractious Somalia appeared to inch closer to stability after government troops and African Union forces – deployed in the country since 2007 – drove Al-Shabaab from most of its strongholds.

The militant group, however, has continued to mount attacks against government forces and African peacekeepers.

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