Jowhar — Al Qaeda inspired Al Shabaab militants late on Tuesday night raided army bases in Middle Shabelle region town of Mahaday and Buurane vicinity of southern Somalia, Garowe Online reports.
Residents reported that Al Shabaab militants targeted the military bases with rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank weapons, seizing Mahaday and Buurane from Somali government forces for nearly 'six hours'.
"Last night, I woke up to the sounds of artillery fires in the town and when I walked out of my house, I saw gunmen who wrapped headscarves around their faces," said Mahaday resident via telephone.
Witnesses say, Al Shabaab militants vacated Mahaday and nearby Burane vicinity in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with local reports disclosing that 15 persons including government soldiers and civilians were found dead.
Federal Government of Somalia officials confirmed the deadly assault on their bases and the seizure of Mahaday and Buurane by Al Shabaab.
Speaking on Mogadishu-based radio station, a spokesman for the militant group boasted about the raid, saying Al Shabaab reached its goal.
Mahaday, about 30 km north of agriculture-rich town and Middle Shabelle regional capital of Jowhar was liberated from Al Shabaab on 19th of September 2013.
Large swathes of territories, mainly rural areas remain under the control of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group as Mogadishu-based Federal government seeks to exert credible authority across southern part of the country.