Somalia’s pro-government forces vacated five towns in the East African country’s central region after a deadly attack by militants of the al Shabaab extremist group, local sources reported on Tuesday.
On Monday, the army emptied the towns of Wabho, Osweyne, Budbud, Gal’ad, and Masagaway in Galmudug Administration.
According to TASS, al-Shabaab militants killed 178 Somali soldiers in an attack over the weekend.
No information about losses among militants is available.
Al-Shabaab was formed in Somalia in 2004. By 2010, the group had established control over vast territories, but it had to withdraw from Mogadishu in the summer of 2011 and launch a guerilla war against the country’s government and its allies. In February 2012, an al-Shabaab leader announced joining Al Qaeda.