World, Africa

Somali, African Union forces recapture central district

Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab fighters left before government and AMISOM troops arrived, says local commander

03.05.2017
Somali, African Union forces recapture central district FILE PHOTO

By Hassan Istiila

MOGADISHU, Somalia

Government and Ethiopian soldiers Wednesday recaptured a district in south-central Somalia from al-Shabaab fighters.

Somalia troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers serving with an African Union force took the Halgan district in the Hiiraan province, according to residents and officials.

Halgan district commissioner Guhaad Abdi Hassan said there was no fighting when the troops entered the district.

He added that al-Shabaab fighters fled the district before the troops arrived.

A resident who asked not to be named says al-Shabaab told the people not work with government or African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) forces.

The retaking of the district came as Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Famrrjo begins a visit to Ethiopia.

Last October fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab group said they had taken control of a town in central Somalia after hundreds of Ethiopian troops serving with the African Union pulled out.

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