MOGADISHU, Somalia (Caasimada Online) — Somali army forces have taken control of the coastal town of Marka, some 91km southwest of Mogadishu, following fierce fighting against Al-Shabaab.
The fighting erupted after Somali forces launched military offensive against Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab fighters in the town, a witness said.
He says both warring sides had used heavy and slight weapons during the fighting, adding that the Al-Shabaab militants had withdrawn from the town.
Four soldiers were reportedly killed in the latest clash in the town.
The military offensive is reportedly led by Somali army commander, Gen. Abdullahi Ali Anod, who was fired in a degree announced by Somali president Mohamed.
Gen. Anod says the military forces had taken control of the town, following pushing Al-Shabaab out of the town.
He added the forces would continue operations against militants until the group’s fighters are eliminated.
There was no immediate comment from Al-Shabaab over the military claims.
Al-Shabab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia for more than 10 years.
A 22,000-strong African Union force is in the country to help the government fight the al-Qaeda-linked militants.
The group has been driven out of many urban areas since 2011, however it still controls territory in rural areas and carries out gun attacks and bombings on military and civilian targets.
Mogadishu News Desk