(Xinhua) -- Somalia’s government
troops on Saturday retook the southern El-Wak town, situated
along the border with Kenya, from Al-Shabaab militants that
briefly controlled it.
The African Union Mission in
Somalia (AMISOM) said the Somali forces pushed back the
militants who seized the town on Friday after an attack on the
Somali army base there.
AMISOM troops are helping the Somali government battle Al-Shabaab
AMISOM force spokesperson, Joe Kibet, confirmed to Xinhua
that the Somali National Army (SNA) recaptured El-Wak early
Kibet said the militants seized several weapons, including
machine guns, but suffered heavy casualties in the Friday
At least four Somali soldiers were killed and another injured
in the attack, an army spokesperson in Gedo region, where the
town is located, earlier said.
Al-Shabaab said it captured the town and claimed to have
killed senior government officials and recovered vehicles and
The Islamist group carries out frequent attacks in Somalia in
its bid to topple the government.
Sources said the militants hoisted their black flag at El-Wak’s
administrative headquarters and spoke to residents after they
took the town.
Four Somali soldiers
killed as 'al-Shabaab' captures town
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
At least four Somali National Army (SNA)
soldiers were killed and another was injured in heavy fighting
in which Al-Shabaab militant group captured El-Wak town in Gedo
region in southern Somalia, officials said Saturday.
SNA spokesman in Gedo region, Col. Warfa Sheikh Aden said the
militants suffered heavy casualties during the fighting, which
lasted several hours in the town near the Kenyan border.
"Al-Shabaab militants attacked our base on Friday. They were
destroyed and defeated two times but they captured the town in
their third attempt, (and) there are casualties on both sides. I
don’t know on their side, but we lost four soldiers and another
one was injured from SNA," Warfa said.
However, reports said more than 10 Somali soldiers, including
senior commanders were killed during Friday’s attack on El-Wak.
Al-Shabaab fighters were seen armed with heavy machine guns.
The SNA spokesman said terrorists ambushed the soldiers and
used AMISOM vehicles in which they took during the El-Adde
attack in the region early this year.
Sources said the insurgents who have been fighting the Somali
government hoisted their black flag on the town’s administrative
headquarters and spoke to residents as fighters took strategic
positions ready to repulse attacks from the joint forces late on
The El-Wak town is at the Somali border with Kenya and it was
among first towns liberated from Al-Shabaab by the Kenya Defense
Forces (KDF), which is part of the Africa Union peacekeeping
There was no comment from AMISOM which is reportedly
preparing for a major assault against the militants blamed for a
series of terror attacks in the Horn of Africa nation.