Somali and Kenyan troops squeeze al Shabab from the port city of Kismayo - the Islamist group's most important strategic asset.
Somalia’s violent Islamist movement has been driven out of its headquarters in the southern port city of Kismayo.
It was the first amphibious assault by African troops since independence in the 1960s.
A Kenyan task force bombarded Kismayo then landed troops from seven ships, locals said. They then battled the al Shabab which rushed troops to the city’s port and its beaches three miles to the north.
Joined by Somali government troops, the Kenyans squeezed al Shabab from the north and with an attack from the south - which had followed months of painstaking operations - Kenyan forces inched forward against the Islamists, who claim allegiance to al Qaeda.
British staff officers have been involved in the planning of African Union operations alongside the Somali government in Mogadishu.
Their deployment to the region follows widespread concern that al Shabab had established al Qaeda-style training camps for Somalis based in the west, especially in the UK.
About 200 foreign fighters, of whom 50 are believed to be British, are reported to have joined al Shabab, western intelligence agencies have said.