By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Feb 23, 2012
NAIROBI, Kenya: The commander of African Union troops in Somalia says that close to 300 members of the militant group Al-Shabab streamed out of Somalia in the direction of Yemen in recent days, a sign the militant group is under increasing pressure.
Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha said Thursday that the recent announcement that Al-Shabab has formally merged with Al-Qaeda was an attempt to give a boost of confidence to an insurgent force that is losing power. He said the 300 militants — mostly foreign fighters — fled Somalia only days after the announced merger.
Forces from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Kenya are hitting Al-Shabab from three sides.
Mugisha welcomed the UN Security Council’s vote Wednesday to increase the AU force from 12,000 to just shy of 18,000.