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AU and Somali Forces seize Al Shabab’s biggest stronghold in central Somalia

By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali National Army and the Ethiopian contingent of African Union Peacekeepers have on Wednesday reclaimed the strategic City of Elbur in the central Galgadud region which is about 376 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu.

The allied forces happened to enter the city after engaging in a fierce fighting with Al Shabab militants in the Washaqo neighbourhood about three kilometres north of Elbur.

 “The situation is now calm, the Somali national Army and the AU peacekeepers entered the city at about 1: 30 PM local time” a Somali military official in the city told the media.

The militants fled toward the village of Jacar which is about 52 kilometres from Elbur along the road to Mogadishu.

It took three days to the Somali Army and AU forces to enter Elbur, as the militants were trying to defend their grip on the city.

Earlier the allied forces seized more villages along the road between Elbur and the region’s provincial capital Dhusamareeb which is about 100 kilometres north of Elbur. Those include: Ceel La helay, Ceel-Garas and Ceel-Qooxle.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of families who fled from the city earlier in the week have sought refuge into the Shiilka village which is about 5 kilometres south of the city along the road that leads to the Somali capital Mogadishu.

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