al-Shabab take control of town in southern Somalia

Marka resident Mohamed Sabriye said the rebels hoisted al-Shabab’s flag on the coastal town’s police station and administrative headquarters. (File Photo: Reuters)

Residents in the southern Somali town of Marka say fighters from the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab have taken control there after the withdrawal of African Union forces.

Marka resident Mohamed Sabriye said the rebels hoisted al-Shabab’s flag on the coastal town’s police station and administrative headquarters.

Marka lies some 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

There was no immediate comment from African Union officials.