Somali National Army and AU troops push Al Shabaab out of Toratorow

The Somali National Army (SNA), along with African Union peacekeepers pushed the Islamic Islamists, Al Shabaab, out of Toratorow in the Lower Shabelle region on Thursday, a strategic move for the Somali government.

The allied troops took control of the town, located 90 kilometers (55 miles) south-west of Somalian capital, Mogadishu without resistance from Al Shabaab fighters, reports say.

Capt. Aden Dahir, a senior Somali commander who lead the operation said, Al Shabaab insurgents withdrew from the town before the coalition forces, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, moved in.

A resident, who asked not to be named, said hundreds of Somali military soldiers and African Union peacekeepers retook the city peacefully, seizing the police station and administrative headquarters.

“We saw a warplane flying over the skyline and ground forces coming in. Shortly after, Al Shabaab fighters left the area without firing a single shot,” said the resident who spoke to ArmedPolitics.

“Today is a new beginning for us … Al Shabaab left the town and our government is now in control and will put in place law and order,” said the resident in celebration.

The recapture of Toratorow is considered to be the biggest victory over Al Shabaab since SNA and AMISOM fighters joined forces last year in order to reclaim the southern and central regions of Somalia from Islamic Militants.

The Somali government, along with their AMISON allies, have reiterated their aim to liberate the entire country from Al Shabbab’s rule before the parliamentary and presidential elections due to place in August, 2016.

Omar Nor

A senior reporter in-the-field covering the vast East Africa region, focusing on  political issues including scenarios of conflict. Follow Omar on Twitter at @Omaar_nor