Al-Shabaab makes progress in central Somalia after troop withdrawal

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Al-Shabaab makes progress in central Somalia after troop withdrawal

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia-based al-Shabaab has reportedly established a base in the Mudug region, which residents say could disrupt operations in the region, which has enjoyed peace and stability for several months.

Al-Shabaab militants are reported to have established a base in the town of Wisil, in central Somalia, after several months of fighting with government troops based in the town considered strategic.

The militants have not yet entered the city, but have established a base a few miles outside, in what could spark a fierce shootout with government troops from both the federal government and those who are close to the Galmadug administration.

About two months ago, militants engaged Galmadug’s government and troops in a violent shootout, leading to a temporary capture of the town. However, the militants were forced to withdraw after a swift response from government forces.

In separate media interviews, residents said they were living in fear as an al-Shabaab assault on the city could be imminent. Galmudug and federal forces evacuated the area early last month in preparation for fighting in Guriel with Ahlu Sunna Waljamaa.

Already, Al-Shabaab militants have full control of the towns of Ba’adweyn and Amara after dislodging government forces in September. Authorities in Wisil have yet to respond to complaints from residents who now live in fear.

Activists fight to overthrow fragile UN-backed Somali administration, but concerted efforts of Somali national army [SNA] and African Union mission forces [AMISOM] fought important battles, pushing militants out of strategic areas.

For months, mission troops and SNA soldiers managed to liberate major towns across Somalia. The Horn of Africa nation is also planning to hold lower house and presidential elections later in the coming weeks.

AXADLETM

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