Somalia: Al Shabaab militants vacate port town hours after capturing

Somalia: Al Shabaab militants vacate from port town hours after capturingAl-Shabaab militants have withdrawn from the coastal town of Garacad in the north-central province of Mudug hours after capturing it as security forces were preparing to launch an offensive to take back the town, Horseed Media reports.
The militants captured the port town without resistance on Monday evening using speedboats, arriving from the coastal town of Harardhere, which was once a major pirates’ base.
After the pull back, the militants moved to other remote coastal areas towards the Northern parts, sources have confirmed to Horseed Media.
During the capture of Garacad, many residents fled the town in fear of the militants but most of them started to come back after they withdrew.
‘’We met them and asked why they have invaded our town? They refused to tell us their mission and retreated early in the morning today,’’ said one of the local elders.
Local residents have told the media that the militants were up to 80 armed men, including foreign fighters.
Deadly battles between Puntland forces and al-Shabaab militants have continuously occurred in Galgala mountain ranges since 2010.
Since al-Shabaab were pushed out of key towns in Southern and Central Somalia, dozens of militants started to seek for safe havens in the mountainous area.
Horseed Media