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Al-Shabaab insurgents today closed the main seaport of Kismayo in Lower Juba region due to the threat of more airstrikes, according to residents.
As of 12:30am on Saturday (local time), no ships were being allowed to enter or leave the seaport.
"The port is closed and many people are fleeing. Everyone is expecting and praying the government troops will arrive here and kick out al-Shabaab. We are praying to Allah that we will be free al-Shabaab," a resident who asked to be called Muse told Somalia Report. This comes after senior al-Shabaab officer, Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansour), warned of Kenya of the consequences if the port is closed, cutting off one of their major revenue streams.
"If the Kismayo port is closed because of Kenyan airstrikes, we will go to their banks to loot their property and wealth," he vowed to local media yesterday.
''The port is not functioning now and those of us that are laborer and porters are worried about our jobs," said a porter who spoke to Somalia Report on the condition of anonymity.
In May of this year, al-Shabaab was forcing port laborers to quick work and fight on their behalf against the government.