AU troops seize militants' stronghold in south-western Somalia

Somalia

TIYEEGLOW, Somalia August 23, 2014 (Garowe Online)-As parts of an offensive aimed at squeezing militants' strongholds, Somali troops backed by the African Union forces took control of a strategic town in south-western Somalia Saturday, Garowe Online reports.

The seizure of Tiyeglow, an agricultural town in Bakool region has met little resistance from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab fighters who fled as troops surged into the town, according to Mohamed Moalim Ahmed, the region's governor.

"Our troops continue their clean-up operations to dislodge Al Shabaab militia from the areas under their control. The five districts of Hudur region are now in the hands of the government," he told Somalia's state-run radio Mogadishu.

The seizure of the town is seen as a big blow to the Al-Shabab fighters which is fighting to impose an austere sharia law in the largely moderate Somalia.

For months, the allied forces had been on offensive in the region, considered vital for securing the region's provincial capital of Hudur which saw attacks by militants in control of nearby towns.

Al-Shabab has lost its main strongholds, mainly the lucrative port city of Kismayo after the group lost the control of the Somali capital in 2011. the group has since resorted to guerilla attacks, including bombings and assassinations in the horn of Africa nation.

GAROWEONLINE

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