Al-Shabab Militants Withdraw From Somali Capital

Posted August 6th, 2011 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Somali government and Islamist spokesmen say al-Qaida linked al-Shabab militants are pulling out of Mogadishu.

An al-Shabab spokesman says the group began leaving its positions in Mogadishu late Friday. He called it a strategic move to prevent a counter attack. He said al-Shabab will remain in other towns in southern Somalia.

Al-Shabab has been fighting to topple the Somali government. It has also been trying to prevent food aid from being dispersed to millions of victims of drought and famine across Somalia

The United Nations says thousands of Somalis have already died from the effects of the drought.

Government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman called the rebel's retreat from the capital a ” golden day” for Somalia.

The Horn of Africa country has been without a functioning government for 20 years.