The Somali government has said the security of southern Somalia’s third-largest port of Marka has been improved just days after apparently relinquishing it to al Shabaab.
Last week, Heavily armed fighters from the Al-Shabaab group occupied some parts of the port city after Somali National Army (SNA) troops vacated it in what the government described as a “re-adjust[ment] … for tactical purposes”.
“We now control Marka police station and the entire town. Al-Shabaab left the town,” Marka district commissioner, Hassan Moalim Ali told Goobjoog news .
Mr. Ali said the security forces working hand in hand with the administration have wiped out secret cell which was creating insecurity in the town.
“The town is secure, everybody lives peacefully and we fear no security threat. We have deployed our security forces in the suburbs of the town” said Ali.
Al-Shabaab fighters regained Marka after Govt forces and AU forces withdrew the city on 12th this month.
Residents said the militant group raised its flags inside the town, which is situated 100 kilometers (60 miles)southwest of Mogadishu, and started to preach to residents using loudspeakers.
Marka is a coastal town in Lower Shabelle region, located about 100km from Mogadishu and is a strategic town captured from Al-Shabaab in 2012.
Despite losing key strongholds, Al-*Shabaab fighters have retaken strings of towns and villages across the country, raising concerns of militants’ searing capabilities.