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Al-Shabab militants capture another town in Somalia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Al-Shabab militants in Somalia (file photo)

Takfiri al-Shabab militants have overrun another town in central Somalia following the departure of the forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) from the area.

“We have taken Buqda town peacefully today. The town is now under our control,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for the militant group, said on Sunday.

AMISOM forces, who had seized the control of Buqda from the militants less than a month ago, left the town on Saturday night. Ahmed Nur, a top Somali army official, said military forces had left the town to counter al-Shabab elsewhere, adding that they will return.

This is the third town that falls into the hands of the Takfiris since Friday.

The militants captured the towns of El Saliindi, 65 km (40 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu, and Kuntuwarey, on the road between the capital and the port of Barawe, both in the Lower Shabelle region, over the past three days.

The militant group, which is seeking to topple the Somali government, carries out regular attacks on government officials and the AMISOM peacekeeping force in the country.

On Saturday, al-Shabab terrorists launched a raid on an AMISOM convoy outside the Somali town of Marka, with a local official saying that the death toll had not been determined.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between military forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

In 2011, the militants were pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities in Somalia by government forces and the AMISOM, which is mainly made up of troops from Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

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