Somali farmers rejoice at end of militant tax

Since Afgoye

In this photo of Sunday, May 27, 2012, A African Union soldier patrols the street in Afgoye town, Somalia as a Somali man sells fruit on the roadside . Farmers from the Somali town of Afgoye _ an al-Shabab stronghold until last week _ filled their trucks with produce and drove across what used to be the frontline between government troops and insurgents. Farmers are rejoicing at the African Union's latest success: They will no longer have to pay 50 percent in "taxes" to militants. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

AFGOYE, Somalia (AP) — The farmers in Afgoye, a town on the outskirts of Mogadishu long controlled by militants, are rejoicing at the African Union's latest success: The capture of Afgoye — the biggest military success in Somalia since militants abandoned Mogadishu last August.

First on the list of reasons to rejoice is financial: The farmers will no longer have to pay up to 50 percent of their crops in "taxes" to al-Shabab fighters.

Since Afgoye's fall over the weekend, dozens of vehicles carrying fresh fruits and vegetables have traveled from Afgoye into the Somali capital. Some farmers hope they will be able to produce more crops now that the insurgents have been driven out.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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