Somalia, AU troops seize key town from Al Shabaab
MOGADISHU, Somalia – African Union mission in Somalia says its forces with Somali army troops launched an offensive against Al Shabaab.
The joint forces liberated the strategic town of Bariire from Al Shabaab.
Bariire, is an agricultural-rich town lies about 63km west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The African Union mission says the town was serving as a key transit point for Al-Shabaab fighters who frequently crossed over from southern regions.
The seizure of the town is big blow to Al Shabaab. We are committed to free the people of Somalia from the control of Al-Shabaab”, Ambassador Francisco Madeira.
Madeira also congratulated on AMISOM and Somali army forces for their efforts which flushed Al Shabaab out of Sabiid and Bariire towns in south of Somalia.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years in Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.
But the group still has a strong presence in many rural areas.