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Breaking News: Al-Shabab Withdraws From Bardhere

Storyline:National News, Security

BardhereAl-Shabab fighters have withdrawn from the town of Bardhere in south of Somalia’s Gedo region amid government and AMISOM forces have taken full control of Jungal town which lies 35 km west of Bardhere sources say.

The group has shut down Andalus radio branch in Bardhere town two days ago and set free 18 prisoners from its custody.

Residents in the town say Al-Shabab fighters left the city early Wednesday a day after AMISOM troops launched attack on Jungal locality which is a key entry point and a major morale booster for the forces whose eyes were set on the ultimate prize of liberating Baardhere town.

This comes at a time the group is facing sustained offensive from joint Somali National Army and the African Union backed force AMISOM.

The group has been controlling the town since 2008 after they dislodged government soldiers.

The group has suffered losses to key players in recent months.

Bardere is an important agricultural and business city with estimated population of 200,000 and Alshabab have generated a lot of money from livestock in form of zakawat (taxes) to run the group.

The Al-Shabab, meaning “youth” in Arabic, emerged out of a bitter insurgency against Ethiopia, whose troops entered Somalia in a 2006 in a US-backed invasion to topple the Islamic Courts Union that was then controlling the capital Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab fighters continue to stage frequent attacks, seeking to counter claims that they are close to defeat after losing territory in the face of repeated African Union and Somali government offensives, regular US drone strikes against their leaders and defections.

In a message marking Muslim Eid celebrations on Friday, Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Diriye — also known as Ahmed Umar Abu Ubaidah — outlined plans for the group to increase its operations outside of Somalia and particularly in Kenya.