Al-Shabab Takfiri group ‘seizes town in Somalia’

An African Union (AMISOM) soldier from Burundi is seen on patrol in Mogadishu on July 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Somalia’s militant group al-Shabab 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 to the northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, is in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region, where al-Shabab 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-Shabab entered to control the town... The town is now calm and al-Shabab fighters are in every part of the town.”
It was not immediately clear why the military and AMISOM had withdrawn from Leego.
Al-Shabab is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government.
The group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been chased from most of its other strongholds across the country.
But it remains a formidable threat, with its militants frequently carrying out bombings against both civilian and military targets in Mogadishu and other towns in Somalia.