THE African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) has pushed the al-Shabaab militants out of several bases and created 10 new positions in Mogadishu. Maj. Ba-Hoku Barigye, the AMISOM spokesperson, yesterday said with the new positions, the transitional government forces have more areas of influence. He also confirmed that Uganda had sent over 700 more peacekeepers to Somalia. Last week, the media quoted the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, saying Uganda would send more troops after getting financial aid from the US. We can even call up to 10,000 but that will depend on whether the United States supports us or not, he said. We dont want to overstretch our budget by calling up our (reserve) forces and then we have to even pay (their) salary, he explained. AMISOM, which first deployed in the war-torn capital Mogadishu in 2007, comprises five battalions from Uganda and three battalions from Burundi. The peacekeepers, tasked with protecting the embattled Somali government, has most units positioned at the airport, the presidential palace and on the road from the airport to the presidents residence. In recent weeks, the militants have intensified battles to oust the government but Barigye yesterday said: We are advancing and the militants have been pushed further. Gaining areas of influence is not enough but what we are happy about is that people in the liberated areas are free from terrorism. Wherever we set base, we offer humanitarian services which include medical and clean water. In some cases, the needy groups like women and children share our food. We have enough supplies. On Friday, the AUs deputy representative for Somalia Wafula Wamunyinyi said: Numbers of troops have gained up slightly above 7,000 to 7,200 since July. We have steadily increased our area of control in Mogadishu, we have made progress and taken new positions, Wamunyinyi told reporters. If we get the correct support, troops deployment and equipment, we are going to expand our presence towards the north (of the city), he said. The al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an attack in Ugandas capital on July 11 that killed 76 people. The group said the attack was revenge for Ugandas deployment in Somalia and warned of further attacks if it did not withdraw its troops -- about 4,000 -- deployed in Mogadishu under the AUs more than 6,300-strong AMISOM mission.