As troops advance in Somalia,
MOGADISHU, Somalia, May 24, 2012 (AP) — Thousands of people in speeding trucks or pulling carts piled high with clothes and furniture fled a region north of Mogadishu on Thursday amid the sounds of gunfire and explosions as government troops and their allies tried to take more ground from Islamist insurgents.
The Afgoye corridor has been a shelter for hundreds of thousands of people seeking relief from violence that has plagued Mogadishu the last several years.
African Union and Somali forces pushed al-Shabab militants out of Mogadishu last August and are now trying to seize areas outside of Mogadishu. This week, they moved into the Afgoye corridor to pursue al-Shabab.
"It was a scary situation. Fighting has been going on since yesterday, so this is a chance to escape," said Hakimo Ahmed, who fled from Afgoye town, 30 kilometers (20 miles) outside Mogadishu, with her five children. "Everyone has fled. Only animals and armed men are on the streets."
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