The African Union says it is making progress against militants for control of Somalia’s capital.
Officials said Saturday African Union and pro-government troops had recaptured strategic districts in Mogadishu from al-Shabab insurgents.
Al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the United Nations-backed government and set up a strict Islamic state. The al-Qaida-linked group has controlled much of the capital and large sections of central and southern Somalia for at least threeyears.
However, government and African Union forces have retaken parts of Mogadishu in an offensive that began in February.
Earlier this week, Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeepers were trying to take Mogadishu’s Bakara market at the center of Mogadishu’s business district.
Medical officials said heavy fighting between the two sides Thursday killed at least 17 people and wounded at least 40 more.