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Mogadishu Business District in Ruins Following Militants' Exit

  • Gabe Joselow

African Union troops have discovered a cache of weapons in the sprawling Bakara Market area of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The find came a week after the al-Shabab extremist group abandoned the market in the face of a furious offensive by pro-government forces.

African Union AMISOM troops and Somali government soldiers are still searching the rubble left behind as al-Shabab fighters departed Mogadishu earlier this month.

The city’s main business district, Bakara Market, remains extremely dangerous. Security forces warn visiting journalists of the danger of IEDs, improvised explosive devices and other booby traps Shabab fighters might have planted as they fled in the face of a combined AMISOM and government military offensive.

Little news reached the outside world about the fighting in Bakara Market over the past few months, but the bullet-ridden buildings and collapsed walls tell a story of pitched battles and house-to-house combat. Hardly a building is left unscathed.

For the time being, the market is home to little more than heavily armed security guards, and a few stray animals wandering the streets.

The Bakara market in Mogadishu use to be a bustling center of commerce in the Somali capital. But that was before the al-Shabab militants moved into the area. Gabe Joselow filed this report from the scene.

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