7 Aug 2011

Rebels leave capital

8:19 am on 7 August 2011

Al-Shabab rebels in Somalia have pulled out of all positions in Mogadishu, the capital.

President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed declared the rebels defeated after they left on trucks.

However, al-Shabab described the move as a ''change of military tactics'' and said there would be no withdrawal from other regions in the south.

The pull-out followed reports of gun battles in the capital on Friday night.

Parts of the capital were last week among three areas declared by the United Nations to be suffering famine.

The BBC reports there are now a total of five famine zones in the country.

Some aid agencies are barred from central and southern areas controlled by al Shabaab.