World Bulletin / News Desk
Somali government forces and African peacekeeping troops seized control of Qoryoley, a city in the southeastern Lower Shebelle region, from Al-Shabaab militants, residents said on Saturday.
"Government forces and African peacekeepers were deployed inside the city and launched manhunt for Al-Shabaab militants," Omar Abdi, a city resident, told Anadolu Agency.
"Residents started going out to explore what will happen next," he added over the phone.
Al-Shabaab had controlled Qoryoley for seven years, but residents said earlier that the rebels of the Qaeda-linked group had made themselves scarce everywhere in the area.
According to residents, Al-Shabaab rebels had retreated to another city, 13 kilometers away from Qoryoley.
Qoryoley is the fifth city to be recaptured by government forces and African peacekeepers in the Lower Shebelle region in southeastern Somalia in recent days.
The Somali government has unleashed a major offensive to flush out Al-Shabaab rebel from the country.
In November, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed that 2014 would witness the end of the Al-Qaeda-allied rebel group.
Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
The country had appeared to inch closer to stability with the recent installation of a new government and the intervention of African Union troops tasked with combatting Al-Shabaab.Last Mod: 22 Mart 2014, 11:21