African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) troops and Somali National Army (SNA) have liberated a strategic town in central Somalia on Friday, officials said.
The allied forces took control of Gala’ad town after a major offensive against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, according to residents.
SNA official who asked not to be named said the joint forces took the town after Al-Shabaab fighters were defeated.
“The joint forces clashed with the militants in Gal’ad town in Galgadud region, where Al-Shabaab has been operating from lately, before driving the fighters out of the town,” said the officer,
The civilian population has vacated the town to neighbouring districts for fear of collateral damage.
Al-Shabaab has recently increased their attacks against AU and Somali forces in several regions after group has seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of several strategic towns.
The AMISOM forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, killing more than 50 militants late last month.
Al-Shabaab 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.