Somali Islamists take key town near Baidoa
MOGADISHU, Somalia —Heavily armed Al-Shabab fighters have taken control of a key small town near Baidoa, some 250km south west of Somali capital Mogadishu, after a dawn attack on army bases that left several people dead.
The attack started with explosions followed by gun attack carried out by Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab, said, a military officer, who asked to be anonymous.
He says dozens of gun-toting al-Shabab fighters had entered into army camp in Gof gadud town, about 30km north of Baidoa after engaging in fierce fighting with Somali forces.
“Our military troops abandoned their bases to escape Al-Shabaab, because it was an ambush attack started with huge explosions”, he said.
It is unclear how many were killed in the attack.
The capture of the district adds to several other villages in the south and central Somalia that the Islamist group has wrested control following the withdrawal of Somali troops for the past months.
The Al Qaeda inspired group in Somalia was ousted from the capital, Mogadishu in 2011, but still holding large areas of southern Somalia and where the militants often stages attacks across the war-ravaged nation.