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Allied forces comprising of Ethiopian troops serving with African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), Somali National Army (SNA) and other forces loyal to the local South eastern Somalia Administration have captured the town of Dinsor in Bay region.
Dinsor, which had been under the control of the radical jihadist group Al-Shabaab for the past six years, lies 266 km southwest of the capital Mogadishu.
“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,” Somali Defence Minster General Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Dini told reporters.
The fall of Dinsor on Friday morning comes after the capture by AU troops of the nearby town of Bardhere on Wednesday, some of the last key towns held by the militants.
Ibrahim Mohamed Shig-shigoow, Dinsor District Commissioner, who was chased out of the town by the fanatical militants some six years ago, told the media that the allied troops entered the town just before mid-day.
“The three allied forces are now in full control of Dinsor, after the anti-peace elements (a reference to Al-Shabaab militants) had abandoned the town on Thursday afternoon,” said the DC.
“They (the jihadists)ould not say stay, having noticed the strength of the aancing forces,” he added.
Army officers stated that the move to reach Dinsor took a week due to careful removal of tens of landmines planted on their way by Al-Shabaab.
On Thursday, Kenyan troops serving with Amisom and SNA forces captured Bardere town, 400 km southwest of Mogadishu, in Gado region.
Reports confirmed that large population fled both Bardere and Dinsor towns in anticipation of heavy clashes between the warring sides.
Amisom has recently announced a military offensive against Al Shabaab in the Bay and Gedo regions in Southern Somalia, codenamed ‘Operation Jubba Corridor.’
This is the biggest military operation against the Al-Qaeda linked movement since the Indian Ocean Operation in 2013 and 2014 that forced the Islamist group to lose many towns and regional capitals in Southern and Central Somalia.