MOGADISHU—Hundreds of Al shabab militiamen have taken control of a strategic town in Somalia’s south-western region of Bakool located near Ethiopian border without any resistance after government soldiers withdrew earlier today.
Residents of Qurac-Jome said ,the rebels after capturing the town launched house-to-house searches, looking for people suspected to be government collaborators .
Meanwhile, Tension are said to be high in the area as Somali government forces along with Ethiopian troops are said to be making preparations to retake the town from Al shabaab.
Reports said Civilians are fleeing the area for fear of their lives due to the escalation of military activities in the area.
The captured town lies on a key a route which links other towns in the region, including Hudur town which is under the control of Al-Shabaab fighters.
Since 2011, the radical group has lost a number of key areas in southern and central Somalia to Gov’t forces and AU peacekeepers.
The al-Shabab group-linked with Al Qaeda has waging five-year guerrilla warfare to topple President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, who was elected in September 10, 2012 after being chosen by the country’s federal parliament.
By Omar Nor, Freelance journalist in Mogadishu