Militants Retake Key Towns in South Somalia after Clashes with Troops


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Fighters of the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab have retaken key areas in the south Somalia region of Middle Shabelle after fierce clashes with government troops, Caasimada Online has reported on Saturday.

Troops led by Somali army chief Odowa Yusuf Rageh pulled out of several towns in the region they had captured earlier this week following a number of attacks by militants.

On Monday, the commander of the 6th battalion of Turkish-trained Gorgor special forces Mohamed Abdiwahid was killed during fighting with militants near the town of War-eise. He was one of the commanders leading an operation aimed at recapturing a number of towns controlled by Islamists.

Heavily armed militants were seen inside the towns of War-eise, Qoordhere, Warahley and others in the Middle Shabelle region on Saturday morning, according to Caasimada Online and troops had retreated to the town of Biyo-adde, which is under the control of AMISOM forces.

Army officials have not immediately commented on the decision to withdraw from recently captured areas, a move which is feared to weaken efforts to beef up security and prevent Al-Shabaab attacks that might disrupt upcoming elections.

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