MOGADISHU, Somalia – Officials in Somalia say African Union and Somali troops seized the last major stronghold held by the Islamic militant group al-Shabab.
The African Union said Sunday the capture of Barawe, a coastal town 220 kilometers (135 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, was a significant victory because al-Shabab had used its port to bring in arms and fighters and export charcoal, a multi-million-dollar business.
Somali government forces have not controlled Barawe since the early 1990s.
The Islamic extremists of Al-Shabab have steadily lost territory to African Union and Somali forces since 2011, when they were ousted from Mogadishu, the capital city they once largely controlled.
Somali military Col. Abdi Hussein said by phone from Barawe that al-Shabab fighters fled Barawe by sea and land before pro-government forces entered town.