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African Union, Somali forces capture militant-held town on outskirts of Mogadishu
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) ' A military spokesman says African Union and Somali forces have pushed Islamist militants out of a town outside of Mogadishu.
Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said African Union and Somali troops crossed into Afgoye on Friday. He said some fighting is still taking place with al-Shabab militants but that most of the town was under the troops' control.
The capture of Afgoye represents a major advance for African Union and Somali troops, who have made strong gains against al-Shabab over the last year. More than 300,000 internally displaced Somalis live around Afgoye, and officials say they will now have access to aid.
The U.N. representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said Afgoye has been an al-Shabab stronghold since the militants retreated from Mogadishu in August.