Somalia seizes key port town from al-Shabab

Mogadishu: Somalia’s government-led forces have captured an al-Shabab stronghold on the Indian Ocean, the defence minister said on Monday, in one of their most significant victories since launching an offensive against the group last year.
The forces took the port town of Harardhere and the nearby town of Galcad, Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur said in a broadcast on state-owned television.
Harardhere was a major base for pirates hijacking merchant ships until 2011. It was later taken over by al-Shabab, which first rose up against the government in 2007 before pledging its allegiance to al-Qaeda.
“Haradhere and Galcad districts have been taken from the hands of the al-Shabab terrorists,” Nur said. “This means al-Shabab is overpowered and gone. –Agencies