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Residents in the town told Keydmedia Online that the town is now controlled by Al-Shabaab after the government forces abandoned their bases early in the morning.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Hundreds of gun-toting Al-Shabaab fighters captured a strategic town 30 km north of the capital city on Thursday after a battle with SNA, a military official said.
The military sources said the residents woke up to a heavy mortar and artillery shelling by Al-Shabaab on Bal’ad in Middle Shabelle that left at least five people, all civilians wounded.
Al-Shabaab managed to take control of the town after Somali government forces had left their bases during the fierce fighting. Bal’ad lies the main road that links Mogadishu and Jowhar.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab confirmed that it had control of the town. This poses a serious security threat to the capital amid a political standoff between government leaders.
The latest reports say that the government forces have regained control after the Al-Shabaab fighters pulled out. There is no word yet from the military regarding the Bal’ad takeover.