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Iran Press TV

Somalia, AU capture Shabab stronghold: Defense minister

Iran Press TV

Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:30AM

Somali government forces, backed by African Union (AU) soldiers, have captured the southwestern Bay region's town of Dinsoor from al-Shabab militants.

Somali Defense Minister General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini said the joint forces managed to gain control over Dinsoor, the militant stronghold, on Friday.

'Our forces have secured control of Dinsoor, and the insurgents have fled after losing the battle... the troops are now conducting security operations to clear the city,' the Somali defense minister said.

AU forces also captured the key town of Bardhere on July 22.

Last week, the AU announced the start of a fresh offensive against the al-Shabab, called "Operation Jubba Corridor," in the country's south aimed at clearing the area from the militants.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), established in 2007, has more than 22,000 troops, largely from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti and Sierra Leone, stationed in the country to help government forces fight the extremist militants.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

Al-Shabab militants, who have been attempting to oust the central government in Somalia, have continued to launch attacks on the capital Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in the seaside city in 2011.

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