MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants on Thursday seized several villages in Middle Shabelle, a region that
has struggled to defuse the threat in as many years, marking the biggest victory for the militants who are keen to control the country.
|...is somewhere between Upper and Lower Shabelle...|
For many months, security forces have been trying to consolidate the entire region which is said to be under Al-Shabaab, and the efforts have led to significant gains such as the liberation of key towns and the killing of notorious group leaders.
Reports indicate that the militants captured several villages in the outskirts of Jowhar, the regional administrative capital of Hirshabelle State, which is fighting against Al-Shabaab. The town is located close to 90 kilometers north of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
|Perhaps that's not working as well as the gummint had hoped...|
Sources intimate that the AU and Somali troops stationed in the vicinity of the town did not fight back, and instead chose to
run away flee vamoose beat feet retreat as they also prepare to launch an operation against the militants, who are in charge of large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Early last week, the terrorists seized Mashallay near Qoryoley town in the Lower Shabelle region and are keen to fight up to Johwar, the town which is highly guarded by the security forces. The Al-Shabaab is keen to overthrow the fragile UN-backed Somalia administration. An official within the Somali military told Garowe Online that the extremist group is now gaining control over large pieces of territory in southern Somalia, taking advantage of the US troops' pull-out.