MOGADISHU, Somalia — Al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia have pulled out of a key city after it was invaded by Kenyan troops.
Residents in Kismayo said they awoke Saturday to empty police and government headquarters, which were soon looted by residents. Al-Shabab said on its Twitter feed it pulled out of Kismayo after controlling the city for five years.
Col. Cyrus Oguna, a spokesman for the Kenyan military, which invaded Kismayo on Friday, said ground troops were still verifying whether al-Shabab had withdrawn.
Kenyan troops are in the northern part of Kismayo and working their way south. Oguna said a battle overnight killed five al-Shabab fighters.
Kismayo, an important economic center for the insurgents, was the last major stronghold controlled by al-Shabab.
The group was forced out of Mogadishu in August 2011.
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