MOGADISHU, April 10 (Xinhua) -- African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) troops and Somalia National Army (SNA) said Sunday they have liberated Adan Yabaal town in Middle Shabelle region of central Somalia.
AMISOM said in a statement said the allied forces took control of the town after a major offensive against the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
"The joint forces confronted the militants in Moqokori and Mahaas in Hiiraan region, where they have been operating from lately, before driving them out of Adan Yabaal," the statement said.
The civilian population, that had vacated the town to neighbouring districts for fear of collateral damage, is slowly returning to their homes in Adan Yabaal.
The statement said the residents are, however, facing acute shortages particularly water, as the fleeing Al-Shabaab militants shelled the residential area, vandalized amenities, burnt foodstuffs and destroyed the generator that used to pump water from the only functioning borehole in town.
"AMISOM and SNA are currently working with the Somalia government to restore water and other essential services in Adan Yabaal. They are also conducting patrols and clearing the area of booby traps and IEDs planted by Al-Shabaab," the statement said.
The militants have recently increased their attacks against AU and Somali forces in the Lower Shabelle region, which has seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of several strategic towns although the militants mainly held those towns briefly.
The AMISOM forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, killing more than 50 militants late last month.