BAku-APA. Takfiri al-Shabab militants have seized control of two towns in southwestern Somalia, less than a week after the militant group attacked an African Union (AU) base in the same region, APA reports quoting Press TV.
A spokesman for the militant group said and local officials confirmed on Saturday that the Takfiri terrorist group had seized the towns El Saliindi, 65 km (40 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu, en route to the port town of Marka, and Kuntuwarey, on the road between the capital and the port of Barawe, both in the Lower Shabelle region over the past two days.
The militant group, which is seeking to overthrow the government in Somalia, stages regular attacks on government officials and the AU-led peacekeeping force in the country.
“It is sad to say al-Shabab has taken El Saliindi. AU forces withdrew and al-Shabab now controls it,” said Ali Nur, the acting governor of Lower Shabelle, adding that Kuntuwarey had been seized on Friday.
Also on Saturday, the militants attacked an AU convoy outside the town of Marka, claiming they killed several soldiers in the attack. But a local official said the death toll had not been determined.
“A roadside bomb targeted an AU vehicle as the AU convoy passed in the outskirts of Marka today. We do not know details about casualties,” said Nur.
The AU peacekeeping force, known as AMISOM, has yet to comment on the attack.
On September 1, al-Shabab forces stormed the AU base in the Lower Shabelle region, which is about 90 km (55 miles) south of Mogadishu, killing at least 12 Ugandan soldiers who served as peacekeeping forces there.
The al Qaeda-affiliated militants were pushed out of the Somali capital by AU peacekeeping forces in 2011.