May 25, 2012 / 11:36 AM / in 5 years

African Union troops say seize key Somali town

MOGADISHU, May 25 (Reuters) - African Union troops on Friday seized a town northwest of Mogadishu from al Qaeda-linked insurgents, a spokesman said, marking a big blow against the al Shabaab rebels, who have used the town to stage sporadic attacks on the capital.

The capture of Afgoye by the AU force AMISOM and Somali government troops, who already control most of the capital, also paves the way to securing a corridor to the Somali capital that would allow easy access to humanitarian aid to residents.

“We are now fully controlling Afgoye town,” Lt Colonel Paddy Ankunda, the AU forces spokesman told Reuters. (Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by James Macharia and Alison Williams)

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