Street FIGHT:Conflict
Suspected U.S. Drone Down In Kismayo
Militant Al-Shabaab Fighters Claim They Shot It Down
By AWEYS CADDE 09/25/2011
Drone Firing Hellfire Missile
Drone Firing Hellfire Missile
An unmanned aircraft suspected to be a U.S. drone was allegedly downed by the militant al-Shabaab fighters in the port city of Kismayo late on Saturday, local residents said on Sunday.

The low flying airplane came down shortly after being fired at by the al-Shabaab, claimed the residents, adding that its remains had been taken away from the scene by the Islamist fighters.

“It has become a routine to see aircrafts flying over Kismayo, while the al-Shabaab militias fire machine guns at them. But last night, we were told that an aircraft had fallen down and people rushed out to witness the incident,” Sahra Abdukadir, a resident in Kismayo told Somalia Report.

Although there was no physical damage visible on the drone, al-Shabaab fighters claimed that they had shot it down using heavy artilleries.

“Thanks to Allah, we have succeeded in felling down one of the enemy's aircraft meant to fight with Muslim people, they believe that we can’t attack and destroy their aircraft but we are telling them that Allah can destroy all their strength and abilities,” Sheikh Hassan yacqub, al-Shabaab chairman in Kismayo told a pro-al-Shabaab local radio station.

“It’s very easy to crash an aircraft and it can even be destroyed using an AK47 if we trust in Allah. Beware! All enemies of Allah, wherever you are, you will not be safe,” he said.

Residents say that the militant attackers took the drone away from the scene early on Sunday morning and its whereabouts remained unknown on Sunday.

“Till now, it’s not known where al-Shabaab took the aircraft, but I had seen it earlier with my own eyes. It was very small and had too many cameras,” Abdukadir said.

She said that the al-Shabaab was very happy to see the aircraft come down. They alerted the residents and scores of people came in droves to see it, she said.

Meanwhile, al-Shabaab fighters have fled from most of their bases in Lower Juba after suspected U.S. airstrikes shelled and destroyed their main military camp in Kismayo on Friday night.

Local residents told Somalia Report that they saw the al-Shabaab leaving the area. They have vacated their military bases in Taabta, Qooqaani, Afmadow and those on the outskirts of Kismayo within the last two days, they said.

On Friday, suspected U.S. drones allegedly fired long-range missiles into bases of the al-Shabaab in Lower Juba, killing an unknown number of insurgents.

Fighting Breaks Out in Gedo

At the meantime, at least three fighters were killed and more than five others injured when the Transitional Federal Government soldiers and al-Shabaab fought in Gedo region, the neighborhood of Lower Jubba region on Saturday. Locals told Somalia Report that the fighting erupted after al-Shabaab launched hit-and-run attacks on a TFG base, some 15 km away from Garbaharrey district.