MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s army, with US air support, advanced into a strategic town held by Al-Shabaab, just a week after militants killed more than 30 people in an assault on a nearby town under the control of government troops.
US military helicopters and other fighter jets were seen flying low from a warship off the coast of Hobyo in central Somalia’s Mudug region as Somali troops, including US-trained special forces advanced on the town of Ba’adwayne, residents said on Tuesday.
Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab took over the town in mid April after regional forces vacated their bases due to undisclosed circumstances, but Islamist fighters have since continued to advance northwards, triggering fears by local authorities that a number of other strategic towns might fall.
There was no fighting and troops seized the town peacefully without any resistance, a regional commander said.
“Terrorists withdrew from Ba’adwayne” hours before government troops reached the town, he told Somaliguardian on condition of anonymity for fear of being identified.
Al-Shabaab has not immediately commented on the fall of Ba’adwayne to the hands of allied regional and federal forces.
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