Somali National Army backed by the Ethiopian forces of the African Union have on Wednesday captured a key town in Central Somalia from the Islamist group al-Shabaab.
The Capturing of El bur of Galgadud region, which is about 350 kilometres northeast of the capital Mogadishu, came days after the joint troops battled the militants as they were on the way to the town, having departed from Dhusamareeb which is the head of the region.
It’s the ninth town the coalition troops have liberated from al-Shabaab in less than a month.
A resident in the town told Journalists that al-Shabaab fighters tried to resist the joint forces and there was a heavy fighting that lasted for several hours. Its not yet clear whether there were any casualties.
The town is believed to have been a major commercial hub for the al-Qaeda linked militant group and whereby fighters were trained.
African Union Special Envoy to Somalia Mahamat Annadif welcomed the capturing and applauded the ‘’achievement’’ of both troops.
“The joint operation undertaken by AMISOM and SNA is a great achievement worth celebrating. The people in the Galgaduud region can now feel safe and begin to rebuild their lives unencumbered by the Al-Shabaab terrorists.” He said in a Statement.
AMISOM officials also confirmed there was several ‘’ambush’’ carried by the militants while they were heading to El Bur but they were ‘’repulsed’’.
Al-Shabab has started to switch its war against the Somali and African union troops to guerilla attacks.