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Al-Shabaab take control of Mataban district in Hiiraan region

Al-Shabaab fighters have taken control of Mataban district in the Hiiraan region on Monday, according to local residents.

Mataban residents confirmed to that Al-Shabaab fighters took complete control of the strategic gateway city that links central and southern Somalia without meeting any resistance following a withdrawal of government forces from the area.

It is not apparent why the government security abandoned the town to Al-Shabaab fighters. 

Al-Shabaab fighters are reportedly controlling the local police station and the regional administrative office.

Mataban is 60km northeast of the Hiiraan capital Beledweyne.

In mid-December, the Al Qaeda-linked military insurgency group Al-Shabaab briefly captured Mataban following a withdrawal of Galmudug state forces. The town was recaptured by government troops less than a day later.

Since being ousted from the capital over a decade ago, Al-Shabaab has been waging war against Somalia’s internationally-backed government.
 

 

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