Wednesday February 28, 2018
In this undated file photo, an Al-Shabaab fighter carrying the groups signature black flag examines a trench dug in Moqorki town after Ethiopian and Somali troops withdrew from the area in late 2016.
Beled Weyne (HOL) - Somali security forces have retaken control of Moqorki town in Central Somalia from Al-Shabaab on Wednesday morning. Driving out the militants who have controlled the town since 2016.A local resident told HOL that he was awoken by gunfire this morning
Military officials confirmed to local media that the town was under government control after a ferocious firefight that lasted close to an hour.
"As dawn broke, government forces moved into Moqorki district, they were met by Al-Shabaab and there was a heavy exchange of gunfire," Mohamud Shiekh Abdi told HOL by phone.
The number of casualties in the skirmish is still unclear.
According to several high-placed sources, the Somali government and her allies have been preparing for a large-scale offensive against Al-Shabaab militants.
Moqokori was captured by Al-Shabaab militants in 2016 during a land offensive that was spurred by a sudden pull out by Ethiopian troops.