Al-Shabaab seizes strategic town in Somalia


BAIDOA, Somalia - Al-Shabaab militants have seized a strategic village in Somalia, multiple sources have confirmed, in the latest incident which comes at the time the Horn of Africa nation is preparing the second phase of operations against the group.

According to sources, Al-Shabaab managed to successfully challenge Somali National Army [SNA] at Goofgaduud, a village situated at least 30 kilometers from Baidoa, the regional administrative capital of Southwest state of Somalia.

The seizure came following fighting with Somali government troops, residents said. This happens as AlShabaab began to impose further blockade on key towns in the Federal State, including Baidoa, which hosts 1million IDPs fled from drought. The Al-Shabaab blockade affected businesses in the state.

Al-Shabaab had lost a number of strategic towns and the capture of the village could play vital for its bid to continue challenging government troops, foreign troops mainly from African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and the US Africa Command. The troops have been fighting to liberate several parts which are still under Al-Shabaab.

The second phase of operations against the group is projected to completely secure the country from the militants, with regional troops expected to also participate in the crackdown. Jubaland and Southwest regional soldiers are currently preparing to take part in the offensive, authorities said.

Due to offensive against the group in Somalia, the militants are trying to cross over the border to Kenya, triggering surveillance from the East Africa nation along the border. Kenya recalled plans to re-open the border with Somalia, citing increased activities of the group in the northeastern region.

The Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] has established troops about 14 Forward Operating Bases in the northeastern Kenya, which will accommodate more soldiers. Al-Shabaab militants are fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia, which has been struggling for stability in the last three decades.


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