Al-Shabaab militants have retreated to their Kismayu stronghold and are arming residents forcibly as Kenyan forces close in on the port town.
Media reports quoting distraught residents said the militants had armed students, mounted weapons on buildings and dug trenches around the town in readiness for the battle with Kenyan forces.
“They have put their weapons over us. Every high house in the city is a defence for Al Shabaab.
“Since Kenya mentioned the 10 towns it was targeting, Al-Shabaab have been readying all their weapons and small arms,” Ms Fatuma Ali was quoted as saying by a local paper.
Another resident, Ms Amina Mahmoud, said: “They gave arms to people and they’re telling them to stay and defend the country from foreigners. They said yesterday evening ‘Everyone of you who dies here is a mujahid and will enter paradise.” Read more>>.