Peacekeepers retake strategic Somali towns

2014-03-09 18:49

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - African peacekeepers in Somalia operating with government forces have recaptured several strategic towns in the southwest from the al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militia, officials said on Sunday.

The African Union's Amisom force announced it had launched a widescale offensive on Thursday against the Islamist fighters in areas near the Ethiopian border.

The operation comes in the wake of a surge of attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu, where the Shebab is fighting to oust the internationally-backed government.

"Amisom and the Somali troops kicked Al-Shebab out of several key towns including Wajid and [regional capital] Hudur," regional government official Abdulahi Yarisow told AFP.

"Our military advancement will continue until we eliminate the enemy from the rest of the country."

Amisom said in a statement it had also secured the towns of Ted, Rabdhure and Buudhubow and driven out Shebab militiamen, but witnesses reported fierce fighting on Sunday in Buudhubow.

"The SNA [Somali National Army] and Amisom joint operations signal the beginning of the renewed efforts by the Somali government forces working more closely with Amisom forces to dislodge Al-Shebab from many of its strongholds across the country," it added.

Hudur had been taken from the Islamists in March 2012 by Ethiopian troops who later withdrew and it then fell back into Shebab hands.

Ethiopia intervened in Somalia between 2006 and 2009 and again sent in troops in November 2011 to battle Islamist fighters in border regions, providing crucial aid to the peacekeeping force.

In January of this year, Ethiopian troops joined Amisom, sending a contingent of 4 400 men and boosting the peacekeeping force to some 22 000.

Local residents contacted by AFP confirmed that Wajid and Hudur had been retaken by Amisom.

"The town [Wajid] is empty, Al-Shebab ordered people to leave the town before the Ethiopian and Somali troops [arrived] but the situation is quite calm now," said Abdi Hassan, who lives in a neighbouring village.

Read more on:    amisom  |  somalia  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a reactive and wilful undercurrent that flavours things today. There is a tendency to take things too personally and then...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.