Islamist militant group al Shabaab has retaken another town in Somalia from African troops, adding to a string of settlements it has seized this month, the group and an official said, according to Reuters.
Al Shabaab retook the town of Janale, about 90 km (55 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu, on Thursday, September 17.
This month, the group attacked a base of Africa Union forces in Janale area, killing at least 12 Uganda troops, and has retaken at least three other towns in southern and central Somalia.
The government has dismissed the gains by al Shabaab, saying the areas retaken are not of strategic value.
But the recent Islamist offensive has highlighted the group’s ability to keep up the pressure on the Western-backed government it wants to topple, using both its military force alongside its more frequent suicide bomb and gun attacks.
Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab said Janale was retaken when the African troops left.
“Now it is fully under our control,” he told Reuters.
The fall of the town was confirmed by Ali Nur, the acting governor of Lower Shabelle region.