Islamist militant group al shabaab has reported taken control of Somalia’s Mahadaay town from Somali army and allied troops.
Mahadaay, 10km north of jowhar city lies on a strategic crossroads in southern of Somalia.
However Somalia national army insists it still has control of the town.
After heavy fighting between Somalia army and al shabaab erupted in and then heavily armed al-Shabab militants entered the town,” local resident who spoke to Radio Dalsan said.
The number of casualties on both sides was not known.
“There is much tension in the town – teashops and businesses are closed. There is no shooting, no bullets but people are afraid to leave their homes,” he said.
Al shabaab media outlets reported that their forces controlling in the town now and started its hoisting their black flag in the town.
Analysts say the town’s loss would be a big blow for the al-Qaeda group, but its militants are likely to be hiding in the surrounding villages, bush and farm lands.
Another resident, Mohamed, told AP news agency that al-Shabab fighters had hoisted their flag over the city top building.
Al-Shabab was ousted from the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, but still has a presence in large areas of southern Somalia and often stages attacks across the country.
Written by Hassan Istiila