The Somali National Army and the government-allied Ras Kamboni Brigade militia wave the Somali national flag from the former control tower of the airport in Kismayo, southern Somalia. © Stuart Price / AP.
The capture of the stronghold represents one of their most significant victories since launching an offensive against the Islamist group last year.
Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur said in a broadcast on state-owned television that government forces on Monday took the port town of Harardhere as well as the nearby town of Galcad in central Somalia’s Galmudug region.
Haradhere and Galcad districts have been taken from the hands of the Al Shabaab terrorists,” Defence Minister Nur said.
Also on Monday, government forces, acting jointly with militias and regional forces from Galmudug and forces from the neighbouring region of Puntland, captured Eldheere, another town in Galmudug, a senior Puntland forces officer, Mowlid Mahad, told Reuters news agency.