The Somali government troops retook large swathes of territory south and west of the main Bakara market in Mogadishu including a key road as they push into rebel-controlled areas, Abdelhakim Dhegabadan, commander of the Somali armed forces told reporters at the frontline.
Somali government officials have extended amnesty previously offered to Islamist rebel fighters who gave themselves up to government troops and AU forces. Government commanders said that the offensive will continue "until all of Somali territory under rebel control was freed."
Somali government forces backed by AU peacekeepers have lately been making steady progress against rebel forces in the capital Mogadishu and in parts of the southern provinces where a number of key towns and villages were recaptured from radical group of Al Shabaab.
Families have fled from Islamist controlled part of the capital particularly in and around the Bakara market where government troops and AU peacekeepers have been advancing of late as part of the military offensive against Al Qaeda affiliated Islamist insurgent group.