MOGADISHU, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces have taken control of Awdheegle town from al-Shabab terrorists following a joint military operation, the AU mission confirmed on Wednesday.
Francisco Madeira, head of AMISOM, said the swift and decisive operation to capture Awdheegle, an agriculture-rich town 70 km southwest of Mogadishu, is part of the ongoing offensive against al-Shabab terrorists, carried out through joint planning and execution by the allied forces.
"This successful mission is yet another demonstration of the growing and increasing capabilities of the Somali Security Forces and further proof that given the right conditions, the Somali National Army (SNA) is capable of executing successful anti-terror operations and can take over security responsibility of their country," Madeira said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
Awdheegle has for years been a base where the terrorists assembled, planned and launched their activities. But Madeira said the town has now been liberated.
He said capturing and holding grounds are central to the delivery of justice to all Somalis who have been victims of the brutality of the terrorists for far too long.
Madeira stressed that the allied forces will continue with liberating areas currently under the control of terrorists with the aim to restore the dignity of the people of Somalia and provide them with the opportunity for a better life.
In Awdheegle, the security forces are currently conducting patrols, securing critical infrastructure such as roads and schools.
The latest seizure came after allied forces captured the strategic towns of Sabiid and Bariire from al-Shabab during joint military operations conducted by AMISOM and the Somali National Army (SNA) troops in April and May.
The Somali government and AU forces have been on major offensives against al-Shabab extremists in central and southern Somali regions, but the militants still hold swaths of territory in those regions, conducting ambushes and planting roadside bombs.