Somalia: Govt forces 'retake' training base from Al-Shabaab
JOWHAR, Somalia – Somalia’s Special Forces, known as “Danab” have retaken control of a strategic town in Middle Shabelle region on Saturday from the Al-Qaida-linked militant group Al-Shabaab, Garowe Online reports.
The troops recaptured Gambole, a militant training camp, near Jowhar, the interim administrative capital of the southern Federal Member State of HirShabelle peacefully following early morning assault against Al Shabaab.
The Somali army moved into the town without encountering any resistance from the militants.
Local residents confirmed that Danab forces are in full control of the area after the militants have fled. Gambole is believed to be a key base for Al-Shabaab used to launch its attacks against Somali and AMISOM troops in the region.
Al Shabaab leaders were expected to meet with local traders over a tax on their businesses before the capture of the town by the Somali government soldiers, according to an inhabitant who spoke to GO by phone on condition of anonymity.
The militants' departure came after heavily armed Somalia National Army [SNA] backed by Armored combat vehicles advanced towards the town, said the resident on Saturday. Fear of a counterinsurgent assault gripped the villagers.
The capture of the town comes a week after Al Shabaab launched a massive attack on AMISOM convoy north of Bal’ad district in the same region that left at least five Burundian peacekeepers dead and set a fire on trucks transporting supply.
Somali troops, with the support of 22,000 AU soldiers from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia, regained control of a string of towns previously held by Al Shabaab since 2011, but the insurgents had vowed to strike back.