Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Senior Al-Shabaab officer reportedly killed in AMISOM shelling near Kismayu

Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) heavily fired shells near the southern strategic port city of Kismayo on Tuesday, a military spokesman
confirmed Wednesday, amid reports of the killing of a senior Al-Shabaab officer.

 Abdikadir Duecsane, supreme commander of Al-Shabaab in Jiliib, the last major town on the road to Kismayo, was reportedly killed in the Monday shelling by the Kenya Navy,
part of AMISOM. "AMISOM forces shelled several Al-Shabaab positions near Kismayo on Sept. 3, killing 7 militants," the spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna told Xinhua by
telephone.  But he didn't confirm Duecsane's death. "I have not established whether the senior Al-Shabaab officer was among those killed."During the attack, AMISOM
recovered military equipment including missile launchers, and destroyed guns and ammunitions, Oguna said.

AMISOM expects to occupy Kismayo in the coming days. "We are approaching there and the fall is imminent," the spokesman said. Analysts have described the capture of
Kismayo from Al-Shabaab as an important step to ensure a successful power shift from the Somali Transition Federal Government to a civilian administration.Kenyan forces,
which crossed into Somalia in mid-October last year, have intensified military crackdown inside southern Somalia to push back Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group blamed
for a series of cross-border kidnappings against Kenyans. The militant group has also came under pressure from other African Union peacekeepers and was recently driven
out of the outskirts of the Somali capital Mogadishu.  (Xinhua)
Meanwhile Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday called for protecting the African space against satellites spying on it.

Al-Bashir urged Africa to intensify efforts to build a space agency to reduce what he termed as "information dependency," calling on Africa to protect its space and sky against
spy satellites. The Sudanese president made the remarks Wednesday during the opening sitting of the Fourth Session of the African Union Ordinary Conference of Ministers in
Charge of Communication and Information Technologies (CITMC-4) in Khartoum. Al-Bashir also called for coordination among the African countries in the fields of
information and communications. The CITMC-4, which is hosted by Khartoum on Sept. 5-6, is scheduled to discuss possibility of establishing an African space agency via
launching an African satellite.The conferees would further discuss the issues of information security, legislation and protection techniques.

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