Somalia: Puntland forces seize key town from Al Shabaab
BOSASO, Somalia – Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland forces have captured a small but strategic town 100 km (60 miles) south of Bosaso following joint military offensive against Al-Shabaab.
The military forces recaptured Af-Urur town without fighting or firing a single shot on Friday after Al-Shabaab militants vacated, according to military officer, Hussein Mohamed.
Mohamed says the militants seized the town last month following an attack on army base.
Mohamed says the military forces had taken Af Urur town on Friday, adding without elaborating that only a few Al-Shabaab militants had been in the town
The town is a key area that links the major road to Garowe, Bosaso and Mogadishu capital.
There was no word from Al Shabaab over the latest military claims.
The Al-Shabab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia for more than 10 years.
A 22,000-strong African Union force is in the country to help the government fight the al-Qaeda-linked militants.
The group has been driven out of many urban areas since 2011, however, it still controls territory in rural areas and carries out gun attacks and bombings on military and civilian targets.
Somalia has been gripped by violence and lawlessness since the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990s.