AP News

Somali militants flee invasion to avoid losses

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Experts say that the al-Qaida-linked Islamist militant group that once controlled nearly all of Somalia's capital and sowed fear throughout the country's southern region is fleeing their last remaining stronghold because they are outgunned and don't want heavy losses.

Kenyan troops invaded the southern Somali city of Kismayo early on Friday, and the militant group al-Shabab announced soon after that their forces were leaving the lucrative port town behind.

Abdihakim Aynte, a Somali political analyst in Mogadishu, said Sunday that al-Shabab is likely retreating because the militants know they are outgunned by the Kenyan troops.

Aynte said al-Shabab fought conventional-style battles with Ethiopian troops in 2006 and 2007 "and the result was bloody and nasty."

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