African Union soldiers from Uganda rest in the town of Kurtunwarey in Somalia August 31, 2014. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones)
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Somali and African troops have captured a new town from Al-Shabab Islamists during a major offensive, the army said Thursday, days after U.S. airstrikes targeted the extremists' leader.Troops seized the town of Jalalaqsi Wednesday, some 150 kilometers north of Mogadishu, and the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab fled without a fight, the 22,000-strong African Union mission in Somalia said in a statement.Al-Shabab is fighting to topple Somalia's internationally backed government, and regularly launch attacks against state targets.They also strike in neighboring countries that contribute troops to the African Union force -- including last year's siege of the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that left at least 67 dead.
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