Peacekeepers retake strategic Somali towns

2014-03-09 18:49


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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

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


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 network.


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.