World

Kenya hits Somali militants’ base

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Kenyan troops invaded Al Shabab’s last stronghold in Somalia on Friday, in a beach landing at Kismayo that appeared likely to deprive Islamist insurgents of their last big money-making enterprise.

African Union troops from Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi have combined over the last 18 months to drive Al Shabab out of the capital Mogadishu and take a series of smaller towns.

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Al Shabab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, had earned money by collecting taxes on goods arriving at the Indian Ocean port, so the loss of the stronghold would be a double blow to the armed fundamentalist group.

Hardcore fighters may unleash suicide bombs and ambushes, but less dedicated fighters could melt back into their communities.

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The African Union force said that some fighters have already indicated a desire to defect in recent days.

Associated Press

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