Al-Shabaab militants have retaken a town just north of Mogadishu following their biggest clash with African Union Forces this year. This clash led to the deaths of 12 Soldiers. The town, which is only 100 KM northwest of the capital is strategic in its placement for Al-Shabaab, who is trying to topple the central government of Somalia. They were able to retake it because the soldiers and forces that had been stationed there left.
08/07/2017 Somalia (Reuters) – Somalia’s militant Islamist group al Shabaab seized a town in the south of the country early on Friday after it was abandoned by the military and African Union-mandated (AMISOM) peacekeepers, residents said.
The town of Leego, which lies about 130 km (80 miles) to the northwest of the capital Mogadishu, is in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region where al Shabaab last week killed at least 12 peacekeepers in one of the deadliest attacks on AMISOM.
Farah Ahmed, a resident of Leego, told Reuters AMISOM and Somali military forces had pulled out of the town early on Friday.
“That same minute al Shabaab entered to control the town… The town is now calm and al Shabaab fighters are in every part of the town.”
It was not immediately clear why the military and AMISOM had withdrawn from Leego.
“The town (Leego) is now under our control,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters by telephone.