Somalia: & AU troops recapture strategic town from al-Shabaab

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Somalia’s government forces accompanied by the AMISOM troops recaptured the strategic port town of Marka on Saturday from al-Shabaab militants, Officials and residents confirm.

Marka, which lies some 70KM South of Mogadishu, was taken by al-Shabaab insurgents on Friday after the Ugandan troops of AMISOM pulled out from the town.

“We have wrested total control of Marka after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy,’’ said the deputy mayor of Marka Abdikarim Hassan.

According to residents, al-Shabaab and the allied forces battled briefly before the militants fled from the town to the outskirts.

One Somali soldier died during the battle and four others were injured, Military officials confirmed adding that a number of al-Shabaab fighters were killed.

Marka, was a major stronghold of al-Shabaab from 2008 to 2012, serving as a source of revenue and also an exit point for foreign fighters and their families escaping through the Indian Ocean waters as they flee from the crushing of Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabab lost key strongholds in between 2012 and 2013 to the AU troops and Somali national army, but the group has since carried out deadly attacks in the Somali capital.

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