The Kenyan navy has shelled Somalia's port town of Kismayo, the remaining significant stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, in preparation for the ground forces to capture the town.
The battle over the town is part of a push by the African Union force to permanently defeat the al-Shabab armed group. The shelling began on Saturday, and was continuning into Tuesday.
"If they [the Kenyan forces] manage to capture Kismayo, this could be the beginning of the end for the group," Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reported from Mogadishu.
Kismayo is a crucial base for al-Shabab financially and for supplies, she said.
The Kenyans forces targeted an arms store, a mounted gun position and a road block set up by the fighters, Col. Cyrus Oguna, a military spokesperson, said.