Somalia: Al Shabaab captures key area close to Southwest State capital

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The Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab insurgents have taken major control of a key area near Baidoa town, some 250km southwest of Somali capital Mogadishu.

The group says its heavily armed fighters re-captured Daynunai area, about 25km away from Baidoa town, after hours of fighting.

“Mujaheddin fighters carried out an assault on army bases in the area. Our fighters are now controlling Daynunai”, said in a statement aired by Al-Shabaab mouthpiece.

The group says reinforcement forces heading to the area were also hit by a huge roadside bomb explosion outside Baidoa town.

It is unclear how many soldiers were killed or injured in the bomb explosion.

There was no word from Somali military over the militants’ claims.

On Saturday, at least 22 people were killed and 40 others injured in double suicide bomb explosion at popular eateries in the town of Baidoa.

The bomb attacks were claimed by Al Shabaab, saying it has killed 20 soldiers at the targeted hotel and restaurant in the town.

The group, one of the world’s deadliest Islamist organisations, used to control swathes of Somalian territory including the capital, Mogadishu, but was pushed back into rural areas in 2011.

The al Qaeda inspired group Al Shabaab wants to topple the western-backed government and peacekeeping force, and impose sharia law in Africa’s easternmost country of Somalia.

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