Somali forces retake second town

No deaths reported as anti-government al-Shabab fighters lose Luq, in southwest.

    The US has accused al-Shabaab of being al-Qaeda's proxy in Somalia [EPA]

    Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kenya, said the government's onslaught is believed to have the backing of Ethiopia, which has massed troops on its border with Somalia.

    "This perhaps explains why government forces have been retaking the strategic towns from al-Shabab militias without a fight," he said.

    Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa fighters, part of the pro-government forces, chased al-Shabab out of the town of Bulahawa in Gedo, southwestern Somalia, on Monday, without firing a shot.

    The towns of Mahaas and Wabho in the centre of the country have also recently been taken by government forces.

    Pro-government forces say they want to drive the fighters from the south-central town of Baidoa and strategic southern port of Kis mayu.

    Until this week the government controlled only small parts of the costal capital Mogadishu.

    The US has accused al-Shabab of being al-Qaeda's proxy in Somalia.

    Somalia has suffered civil war for the past 18 years and African Union peacekeepers are currently in the country aiming to back Sheikh Ahmed's government.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.