Al-Shabaab Retakes Key Towns in Central Somalia


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Fighters of the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab on Thursday regained control of several towns in central Somalia’s Mudug region after Somali special forces and Galmudug regional troops vacated their bases.

It comes weeks after US-trained Somali special forces and Galmudug regional troops backed by US drones launched a “massive” military offensive to drive militants from the towns of Ba’adwayne and Amara in the south of Mudug region.

Militants claimed killing at least 30 soldiers and seizing 3 military vehicles in an attack near the town of Ba’adwayne on August 17, though government forces said the assault had been repulsed.

The group’s fighters overran military bases in the town of Amara in the region on Tuesday and claimed killing a number of soldiers and capturing 14 military vehicles. The army said the attack had been repelled and dozens of militants had been killed in US drone strike. But militants later displayed 14 military vehicles they claimed seized from government forces.

Troops withdrew from the towns of Ba’adwayne, Amara, Shabellow and Qay’ad, Sabeno-gowra’, Dheghaye and Las Ga’mey on Thursday and residents described to VOA Somali seeing heavily armed fighters of the Al-Qaeda-aligned group.

Galmudug regional officials and the Somali army have not immediately commented on the recent developments in Mudug region.

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