Somali, AU Troops Seize Final Pockets Of Capital

Published March 2, 2012 11:18AM (EST)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Residents say Somali and African Union soldiers have captured a key area on the outskirts of Mogadishu from the insurgency.

Residents say that AU soldiers used heavy weaponry, including anti-aircraft guns and tanks, to drive the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militia out of the village of Maslah. Friday's battle lasted several hours.

Resident Hussein Muhudin says Somali troops are now searching homes in the area. Maslah was the last place insurgents could move freely within the capital. They used it to store weapons, train and carry out executions.

Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda said Mogadishu is now under full AU and Somali control.

But insurgents in disguise can still move freely and assassinations and bombings are still very frequent.

By Salon Staff

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