According to the Mareeg news portal citing residents of the port town of Merka, the army and peacekeepers entered the coastal town with tanks after dislodging the militants of the radical Islamist group from the strategic port.
Port of Merka is located 110 kilometers (68 miles) south-west from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. It has been liberated from al-Shabaab in 2012, but fell into the hands of the militant group again in February 2016.
Somalia has been experiencing violence since the country devolved into civil war in the early 1990s. The state’s collapse provided a breeding ground for warlords, pirates and the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab.