African Union troops in central Somalia have recovered more than 500 bags of food aid that were stolen by the insurgent group al-Shabab.
The AU says the food, which was meant for drought-stricken Somali families, was instead being used to feed al-Shabab militants at a training camp outside Mogadishu.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says it captured the area, the village of Lanta-Buro, from al-Shabab this week. AMISOM spokesperson Eloi Yao tells VOA it represents a major setback for the Islamist militant group.
"Some of those places that are strategic to al-Shabab are being captured," Yao said. "And Lanta-Buro is a major achievement because it was serving as a training ground to the enemy.... It's a major blow."
AMISOM says it also recovered a cache of machine guns and bomb-making equipment during the raid, which left 11 al-Shabab fighters dead and four others captured.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's transitional government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.
The group once controlled much of Somalia and nearly all of Mogadishu. But it has lost most of its territory during an 19-month offensive involving African Union forces, the Somali government, Ethiopia and Kenya.