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Somalia's Al Shabaab losing ground in Africa

Al Shabaab faces a stronger military onslaught in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Somalia shabaab al qaeda 2012 2 22Enlarge
African Union soldiers fire off during a heavy firefight with Al Shabaab near Bakara main market in Mogadishu on May 22, 2011. (Abdurashid Abikar/AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somalia's Islamist militants, Al Shabaab, which recently announced its formal incorporation into Al Qaeda, seems to be losing ground.

On Wednesday Ethiopian and Somali soldiers took the central town of Baidoa which is a key strategic city that had once served as a seat of government.

More from GlobalPost: Kenyan and AMISOM forces aim to expel Al Shabaab

Ethiopian soldiers backed by government-aligned militia have pushed Al Shabaab out of other towns and villages along Somalia's western border in recent months adding to the pressure Al Shabaab is under elsewhere in the country.

In the south Kenya's army is making slow progress in its advance on Kismayo, a port town and militant stronghold, while in the capital Mogadishu African Union peacekeepers are forcing Al Shabaab ever further from the center of the city.

It is too early to count Al Shabaab out but they are facing a stronger military onslaught than at any time since their insurgency began five years ago.

More from GlobalPost: Somalia News: Schools raided for child soldiers

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa/somalia-al-shabaab-loses-ground-africa

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