The Islamist al-Shabaab rebel group in Somalia have withdrawn from the port city of Kismayo - their last stronghold in the country - after an offensive by Kenyan and Somali government forces.
Al Shabaab said the withdrawal on Saturday was a “tactical retreat”.
The announcement came a day after an assault on the city by African Union troops, who had been trying to dislodge the insurgents from the key coastal city for days.
Kismayo has been a vital lifeline for al-Shabaab since African Union forces reconquered most of Mogadishu last year and Ethiopian troops stripped them of other key cities in the east.
“The military command of Shabaab mujahedeen ordered a tactical retreat at midnight,” said al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage.