Somalia: Al Shabaab senior commander captured

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A top al-Shabaab commander and two other senior members of the Islamist group have been captured by Somali and African Union troops in the Horn of Africa country.

Ali Yusuf Ganey, a commander of the al-Qaeda-linked militant group, was captured in an area close to the Central town of El-bur, which was once a major stronghold for the extremists, Somali military commander Colonel Mohamed Kahiye told journalists.

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The three were captured near the central town of Elbur late on Sunday, senior Somali intelligence officer Mohamed Hasan said.

They included top commander Ali Yusuf, also known as Ali Ganey. He is thought to be responsible for the killings of civilians and attacks against Somali and AU troops in the area, Somali military commander Mohamed Kahiye said.

Al-Shabaab issued no comment.

 The AU has more than 22 000 troops in Somalia to help the government battle al-Shabaab, which has campaigned for nearly a decade for a state governed under the strictest interpretation of Islamic law.

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