MOGADISHU, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Somali forces on Wednesday took control of five villages in Middle Shabelle regions in southern Somalia which had been under al-Shabab rule, military officials have said.
Ali Alasow, a commander based in the Middle Shabelle region, told journalists the forces recovered five villages under al-Shabab control following a military operation.
"Our forces conducted a massive operation to the liberate areas under the terrorists," said Alasow. "Five villages are now under put control including Qordhere, Qorah Madobe, Waraxley, War-Cise and Qab-duco," the commander said.
Alasow added the forces are still continuing with the operation to ensure all the militants are flushed out of the areas they still have control on.
The forces did not encounter much resistance from the militants, a resident told Xinhua.
"When the al-Shabab heard the forces were heading to the village, they withdrew immediately," Aweys Abdi, a resident told Xinhua.
The capture of the villages added to several others regained in the recent by joint Somali and African Union forces operations and is gradually reducing the militant group's hold of the regions in the southern Somalia.