Somali troops oust southern militants

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MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somali government troops fighting alongside African Union troops ousted Islamic militants from a southern town they have been controlling, an official said Saturday.

Abdiqadir Mohamed Nor, the governor of Somalia's Lower Shabelle region where the fighting occurred, said Saturday that the al-Shabab stronghold of Bulomarer was seized from militants after hours of battle.

Bulomarer is about 70 miles south of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Officials say the al-Qaeda-linked militants used Bulomarer to stage deadly attacks across Somalia, and hope the military can oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Somalia.

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