MOGADISHU - Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed said on Saturday his military had defeated Islamist rebels battling to overthrow his government after al Shabaab began pulling its fighters out of the capital Mogadishu.
"The Somali government welcomes the success attained by the Somali government forces backed by AMISOM (peacekeepers) who defeated the enemy of al Shabaab," Ahmed told a media conference at his residence.
While Ahmed claimed to have quashed al Shabaab's four-year insurgency, the militants said their retreat was tactical and that they were holding their positions elsewhere in the anarchic country.
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