Kismayo or Kismayu is a port city in the Jubbada Hoose province of Somalia. It is the commercial capital of the autonomous Jubaland region. The town is situated 328 miles (528 km) southwest of Mogadishu, near the mouth of the Jubba River, where the waters empty into the Indian Ocean. As of 2011, the local population is estimated at 183,300 inhabitants. During the Middle Ages, the influential Somali Ajuuraan State held sway over the territory, followed in turn by the Geledi Sultanate.
From 1836 until 1861, Kismayo and other parts of Jubaland were claimed by the Sultanate of Muscat (now in Oman), and were later incorporated into British East Africa. In 1925, Jubaland was ceded to Italy, forming a part of Italian Somaliland. On 1 July 1960, the region, along with the rest of Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland, became part of the independent republic of Somalia. More recently, Kismayo has been the site of numerous battles in the ongoing[update] Somali Civil War. In late 2006, Islamist militants gained control of most of the city.