Al-Shabaab Seizes Amara Town in Central Somalia


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Fighters of the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab seized the town of Amara in central Somalia’s Mudug region after launching dawn attacks on military bases housing the army and regional parliamentary forces, VOA Somali service reported on Tuesday.

A vehicle packed with explosives was rammed into a military base before a gunfight between militants and troops began early on Tuesday morning, after which militants have been able to enter several military camps.

Sources told VOA Somali that US-trained Danab Somali special forces and Galmudug regional troops withdrew from the town following the gun battle, and militants captured a number of military vehicles.

Casualties have not been immediately known and regional officials have yet to brief media about the attack.

It comes just a few weeks after allied US-trained Somali special forces and Galmudug regional troops backed by US drones took the town from militants.

There were unconfirmed reports that Al-Shabaab fighters also took over the nearby town of Ba’adwayn, though there are no further details.

Al-Shabaab-affiliated media said the group’s fighters had carried out the dawn attack on the town of Amara but did not say if there were casualties. State media also reported the fighting, saying troops repelled the assault and militants suffered losses.

Last week, militants killed at least 20 soldiers in an attack near the town of Ba’adwayne in Mudug region and seized military vehicles belonging to Senator Abdi Hassan Awale Qaybdid.

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