U.S. commander: Al-Shabaab weakened

Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:46 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. military assistance to the government of Somalia has helped cut the amount of territory under al-Shabaab control, the U.S. commander in Africa said.

Forces from African Union countries have also performed in an "extraordinary" manner, Army Gen. Carter F. Ham told Soldiers Radio and Television during closing ceremonies for Southern Accord, a joint military exercise.

"They really have degraded the capability of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate operating in Somalia, where most of Somali territory is no longer receptive to al-Shabaab," he said.

He said U.S. assistance has helped increase African countries' counter-terrorism capability.

While Somalia is becoming more stable, there are other trouble spots in Africa, Ham said. He cited Mali, saying about two-thirds of the country is controlled by terrorist groups.

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