Robbery at gunpoint on the rise in Somali capital
The takeover comes amid intensified military operations against the group in parts of southern Somalia ahead of the elections.
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Shabaab announced that its fighters seized a strategic town in southern Somalia on Monday and besieged a nearby government-controlled port city in Lower Shabelle province, officials said.
Hundreds of gun-toting militants in fighting vehicles rolled into Marin-Gubay located some 40 kilometers away from Barawe early in the morning shortly after Ugandan troops vacated the town, a move that risks the hard-won gainst in the security.
A security analyst in Mogadishu told Keydmedia English that the town’s capture marks a setback to the ongoing Somali army's offensive against the Al-Qaeda-linked group and complicates the upcoming elections due to take place next month.
This comes as the Somali army along with AU troops launched a massive military operation in the Middle Shabelle region last month, where hundreds of militants were killed in small villages seized as part of a plan aimed to stave off recent Al-Shabaab gains in the country.
Barawe, a former Al-Shabaab economic hub is now cut off from the rest of the country due to a blockade by the militant group, and the only way possible to get there is by air and sea.
The security in Mogadishu has been worsening over the past months following the increase in armed robbery by armed men in the military uniform.