​Somalia: Militants seize key town from pro-government troops

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GOFGADUD, Somalia- al-Shabaab militants seized Goofgaduud district from the joint Somali government and Southwest state forces on Tuesday following a deadly attack that left at least 17 soldiers dead, Garowe Online reports.

The fall of Goofgaduud which lies about 30 km north of Baidoa town, the regional capital of Bay region, is the latest town taken by the militant group attempting to topple the Western-backed Somali government.

Col Abdullahi Sheikh Mohamed, a senior Somali military commander confirmed to GO that the allied forces pulled out of the town in tactical move, and will recapture it back from the militant group.

"A fierce fighting erupted after heavily armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked the military bases in Goofgaduud early this morning. Somali and Southwest state troops retreated to Baidoa town," he added.

The group's military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab, confirmed that al-Shabaab had recaptured the strategic settlement. He said 17 Somali soldiers were killed during the gunfight. Al Shabaab's casualties and those announced by Somali government officials often contradicts. 

Goofgaduud has been changing in hands between Somali forces and al-Shabaab for the past few months.

GAROWEONLINE

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