Somalia’s Alshabab group has on Tuesday occupied Eldher town in Galgadud region and Qoryoley town in lower Shabelle region, without tough resistance from the army.
Over hundreds of masked militia are said to have raided the two towns to oppose Ethiopian troops in the country, who are backing Somali government and also assisted government to oust Islamists insurgents who occupied most of the country in 2006.
Al-Shabab, a radical wing of the Islamists has also attacked a camp in Mogadishu, Somali’s capital, housing both Ethiopia and Somali troops, but no casualties were reported following the attack.
The group has refused to recognise a Djibouti ceasefire signed in June between government and one Islamist leader, saying they would continue with attacks until Ethiopian troops have left the country.
Some of the residents in the towns, said there was no exchange of heavy artillery between army and insurgents, also claiming that insurgents have set up a base camp in town’s central police station, while it has taken over administration of town.
Government forces reportedly fled Qoryoley and Eldher when the fighters arrived in.
Somalia’s transitional administration was formed in 2004 with help of United Nations, but it has failed to assert real control. After Islamic militants seized control of Mogadishu and most of southern Somalia, the government called in troops from Ethiopia in December 2006 to oust them.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and turned on each other.