|African Union forces in Somalia have been boosted to nearly 18,000.|
U.S. Trained Troops invade Somalia
- Terrorists on the run
Somali government soldiers and African Union troops have seized a major Islamist militant training base, a Somali army commander has told the BBC.
Abdikarin Yusuf, deputy army of the Somali military, said al-Shabab fighters withdrew without a fight.
Observers say the capture of Lanta-Buro, 40km (25 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, is a major setback for the al-Qaeda group.
|Ethiopian troops in Somalia|
It still controls much of Somalia but is under pressure on several fronts.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991, and has been wracked by fighting ever since - a situation that has allowed piracy and lawlessness to flourish.
Gen Yusuf, known as "Dhagabadan", told the BBC Somali Service that the offensive launched on Wednesday morning had been successful.
Lanta-Buro is one of an estimated six training bases al-Shabab has across the country.
Ethiopian troops, pro-government militias and the African Union force - which has US and European funding and was boosted earlier this year to nearly 18,000 - have helped the UN-backed interim government recently expand its control outside Mogadishu.
In the last few months, the militants have lost several key positions, including Afgoye near the capital, Baidoa in central Somalia and the southern town of Afmadow. (BBC News)
Video of U.S. training of African soldiers
|Islamic terrorist al-Shabab troops.|
|Somalia is a creation of colonial Western powers. There is really |
no reason for it to be one nation.
|Ugandan soldier serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia|