Somalia: Troops Recapture Key Town From Al-Shabaab Militants

Somali Federal Government forces have retaken control of a strategic town in Middle Shabelle region on Saturday from Al Shabaab militants, authorities said.

A regional official said the US-trained Bancroft took Gambale, about 45Km east of Jowhar early in the morning without encountering a resistance from the Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Al Shabaab fighters withdrew from the town, allowing Somali troops to take it peacefully.

The town’s residents reported heavy operation in the area as the Somali government forces are making searches for explosives left by Al Shabaab before its withdrawal.

The reason for the Al Shabaab’s withdrawal from the town was not clear.

For a decade, the weak U.N.-backed government has been fighting alongside African Union troops against al Shabaab, which pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda in 2012.