Africa

Somali forces kill 'more than 100' al-Shabab fighters

Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab recruits walk down a street on March 5, 2012 in the Deniile district of Somalian capital, Mogadishu, following their graduation. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Al-Shabab has been trying to gain a foothold in northern Somalia

At least 115 fighters of the militant Islamist group al-Shabab have been killed in heavy fighting with pro-government forces in northern Somalia, the regional government says.

A further 110 militants were captured during the fighting, the Galmudug government added in a statement.

There has been no independent confirmation of the claims.

The al-Qaeda-linked militants have drifted north after losing ground in southern and central Somalia.

Galmudug's President Abdikarim Hussein Galaud said the security forces were determined to "wipe out" the militants, and to prevent them from establishing bases in stable parts of the north.

The militants were defeated after four days of fighting along Galmudug's border with Puntland, the government statement said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption African Union troops are helping the weak Somali government fight the militants

A few of them managed to flee into rural areas, it added.

The statement did not give casualty figures for pro-government forces.

The African Union (AU) has some 22,000 troops battling al-Shabab in southern Somalia, where it was formed nearly a decade ago to fight for Islamic rule.

Last month, the militants overran an AU base in the southern town of el-Ade.

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said about 180 Kenyan troops, which were part of the AU force, were killed in the attack.

Image copyright UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2015

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