Heavily armed group fighters from Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab have taken control key town near Kenya without fighting or firing a single shot.
The Islamist group’s fighters raised its flags inside Diff town and started to preach to residents and warning to collaborate with Somali forces and African Union troops from Kenya, residents said.
Somali military says dozens of reinforcements had been sent to the town to push out of Al-Shabaab, a day after the group captured the town.
The group was ousted from the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, but still has a presence in large areas of southern Somalia and often stages attacks across Somalia.
Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
Al-Shabaab, which is waging an insurgency against the Somali government, has recently suffered several significant blows, losing most of its strongholds in southern and central to Somalia army and and African Union troops.