Somali al-Shabaab militants recapture strategic town

Somali al-Shabaab militants recapture strategic town

The Islamist group, al-Shabaab, is reported to have seized a strategic town in central Somalia.

Residents of Amara in the Galmudug region said the militants stormed an army base before over-running the town.

The insurgents captured several armoured vehicles, burning some of them.

Al Shabaab’s Radio Andalus saying in a broadcast the group was behind the attack and the capture of the town, adding it had seized 14 cars and 10 gun-mounted pick up trucks.

Earlier this month the Somali military captured Amara from al-Shabaab, which had held the town for a decade.

Amara is a strategic town that lies on the route to the coastal town of Harardheere, another al Shabaab stronghold. Harardheere was once a pirate base at the height of hijackings of merchant ships in 2011.

The group controls large parts of southern and central Somalia, and regularly attacks government-held areas.

The insurgents aim to topple the government and impose their own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

It has targeted Somali military bases and civilian infrastructure including hotels, bars and schools in both Somalia and neighbouring countries.
  

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