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Somali, AU troops capture another Shebab stronghold

African Union forces have been supporting Somali troops battling to stem a tide of violence by Al Shebab militantsSomali government troops backed by African Union forces on Friday captured the Shebab stronghold of Dinsor, the second town seized from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists this week, the defence minister said. While Dinsor fell without a major fight, with Shebab gunmen fleeing ahead of the assault, witnesses have reported heavy casualties in the week-long offensive with civilians caught up in the fighting. “Our forces have secured control of Dinsor, and the insurgents have fled after losing the battle… the troops are now conducting security operations to clear the town,” Somalis’ defence minster, General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini, told reporters.

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