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In a handout photograph taken and released by the African Union-United Nations Information Support team 27 February 2012, Somali civilians walk past Ugandan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the central Somali town of Buur-Hakba. The Somali National Army (SNA) supported by AMISOM forces captured the strategically important town on the Afgooye-Baidoa corridor in Bay region from Al-Qaeda-affiliated extremist group Al Shabaab early this morning without any resistance, marking a significant loss for the group. The town, located 64kms east of Baidoa, was a stronghold of the Shabaab where they extorted high levies of illegal taxation on the local civilian populations and used it as a base from where they planned and launched attacks against government forces and installations, AMISOM and the Somali population. Buur-Hakba is the latest in a string of significant territorial losses for the extremist group to SNA and AMISOM forces over the last 18 months, which has seen their area of influence and control over towns and areas across Somalia steadily decrease. AFP PHOTO /AU-UN IST PHOTO / STUART PRICE (Photo credit should read STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images)
27 Feb 2013
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