A major base of Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants has been captured on the outskirts of the capital by government troops backed by African Union forces.
“This operation is necessary to consolidate the security of Mogadishu,” AU commander Maj Gen Fred Mugisha said as the offensive began.
AU and government forces took control of most of Mogadishu last year.
But correspondents says al-Shabaab fighters were able to launch attacks in the city from their Maslah base.
Al-Shabaab is under attack on several fronts, with troops from Kenya and Ethiopia also gaining ground recently.