Voice of America (Washington, DC)

25 August 2014

Somalia: AU, Somali Troops Take Key Town From Al-Shabab

Photo: Tobin Jones/UN
Suspected al-Shabaab militants wait to be taken for interogation during a joint night operation by the Somali security services and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in Mogadishu.

African Union and Somali government troops have seized a key town from militant group al-Shabab in southwestern Somalia.

The AU force says the capture of Tiyeglow gives the Somali government full control of the Bakool region and prevents al-Shabab from extorting high fees from vehicles using a main road that cuts through the town.

Witnesses interviewed by VOA's Somali Service say that al-Shabab gave up the town without a fight Monday, with the militants taking refuge in nearby jungles.

The AU force says it is defusing roadside bombs planted by the militants before they fled.

Al-Shabab once controlled much of central and southern Somalia but has steadily lost territory since 2010 to African troops supporting the U.N.-backed Somali government.

The al-Qaida-linked group remains active and continues to control some rural areas. It has also killed several Somali lawmakers and attacked the Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu twice this year.

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InFocus

Al-Shabaab Loses Key Somali Town

Suspected al-Shabaab militants wait to be taken for interogation during a joint night operation by the Somali security services and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in Mogadishu.

The AU force says the capture of Tiyeglow gives the government full control of the Bakool region and prevents al-Shabaab from extorting high fees from vehicles using a main road ... Read more »