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US, Militia Help Somalia Gain Control of Militant-Held Areas

  • Offensive backed by drone support from US and Turkey
  • Government’s offensive is largest operation in five years
Somali military in Mogadishu, Somalia. 

Somali military in Mogadishu, Somalia. 

Photographer: AFP/Getty Images 

Somalia’s army, backed by thousands of militia members, have driven al-Shabaab militants out of central areas of the country in the largest offensive against the al-Qaeda-linked group in five years, the government said.

Allied forces captured 50 settlements, including several key villages in central Somalia, covering an area of about 200 square kilometers (77 square miles), Somali Interior Minister Ahmed Moalim Fiqi told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu.