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AU launches offensive on Shabab militants

 
 
 
 
 
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Somali army soldiers stand around the body of a killed al-Shabab militant on July 10, 2015 following an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu.

African Union (AU) forces have launched a fresh offensive against al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia, vowing to flush out the terrorists.

AU’s mission in Somalia, AMISOM, announced in a statement that “Operation Jubba Corridor” begun on Friday in the Bay and Gedo regions, south of the nation’s capital of Mogadishu, in collaboration with Somali government forces.

“The operation will ensure that all the remaining areas in Somalia will be liberated and peace restored,” added the AMISOM statement.

The AU offensive comes weeks after al-Shabab staged a major assault on a AMISOM base that killed dozens of Burundian soldiers in what turned out to be one of the single deadliest attacks on the force since AMISOM troops were deployed in Somalia nearly eight years ago.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The militants have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities across the African nation by government troops as well as AMISOM forces, which is largely made up of soldiers from Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

However, the al-Shabab militants, who have been attempting to oust the central government in Somalia, have continued to launch attacks on the capital Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in the seaside city in 2011.

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