DHAKA: African Union and Somali government troops secured an aid corridor between Mogadishu and a former rebel stronghold close to the capital, the AU said, wresting control of a strip of land believed to hold around 400,000 people displaced by conflict.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali forces seized the town of Afgoye from the al-Qaida-linked al Shabaab insurgents on Friday.
The joint operation then took control of Elasha Biyaha, the last remaining al Shabaab stronghold in the 30 km corridor, making the area safe for aid groups to operate in, AMISOM said late on Sunday.
The rebels had used Afgoye as a strategic base to stage sporadic attacks on the Somali capital.
The corridor northwest of Mogadishu is believed to hold 400,000 internally displaced people, the largest such concentration in the world, with some access to aid.
BDST: 1616 HRS, MAY 28, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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