Somalia: Al Shabaab seize key district after AU troops pull back

Published: September 18, 2015

Somalia: Al Shabaab seize key district after AU troops pull backSomali militant group al-Shabaab took control of a key district in southeastern Somalia after African Union troops withdraw due to undisclosed reasons, a Somali government official has confirmed.
The militants seized Janale town, which is about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, shortly after Uganda’s African Union troops vacated their base on Thursday evening.
‘’They [AMISOM] left the town without informing government officers in the area and we cannot understand what caused them to retreat unexpectedly,’’ said Abdifatah Abdulle, the deputy governor of Lower Shebelle region.
Dozens of Ugandan peacekeepers died in a deadly al-Shabaab raid on their base in Janale town earlier this month.
Over the past few months, the al-Qaeda-linked militant group has been making substantial advances in the lower Shebelle region.
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.
In an interview with Reuters news agency, Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud ruled out al-Shabaab was regaining strength after it had captured several districts.
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