Somalia's Shabaab seize third town this month after peacekeepers withdraw

October 23, 2016 16:11

MOGADISHU - Islamist militant group al Shabaab on Sunday seized control of yet another town in central Somalia after it was abandoned by African Union peacekeepers, a militant spokesman and a local official said, the third to fall to insurgents this month.

On Sunday, an Ethiopian contingent abandoned the town of Halgan in the Hiran region, allowing the group's fighters to enter soon after, said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman on military operations.

A military offensive launched in 2014 by AU forces and the Somali army pushed out of major strategic centers, but the insurgents, who once held sway over much of the Horn of Africa country, still control some settlements and rural areas.

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