Dozens of al-Shabaab militants took control of the Northern Somalia port town of Garacad on Monday, residents and an official have confirmed.
The coastal town, which is located in the Mudug region, was seized by the extremists with no resistance.
‘’They landed from the sea and immediately took control of the whole town. They told us that they will be here for six days and have warned that they will kill any armed person,’’ said one of the residents who spoke to Horseed Media.
Mayor of Garacad told the local media that foreign fighters are among the militants that have seized the town.
Garacad, once a pirate hub is administered by the Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland. No senior official has commented on the fall of the city to the militants.
Residents accused the Puntland administration of allowing the militants to take the town unopposed.
Elsewhere, our correspondent in the town of Galkayo says that Puntland authorities have prepared troops to launch a major battle to retake the town in the coming hours.
Over the past few months, the al-Qaeda-linked militant group has been making substantial advances in some parts of the country.
The al-Qaeda-linked extremists remain dangerous, unpredictable and bold, known for audacious and chilling attacks. Their fighters routinely target the Somali government in Mogadishu. The group has also sought to terrorize neighboring Kenya.