Reports from Lower Juba region in Southern Somalia indicate that militants loyal to Islamic State (IS) militants seized a village on Wednesday.
Residents of Tuulo Barwaqo, over 120 kms northwest of Kismayu, the capital of the Jubaland said that armed militants entered the village while wielding the black jihadist banner.
The militants insisted that they were IS loyalists who had replaced the Jubaland authority in the area.
Sources indicated that the chief of Tuulo Barwaqo who represented the Jubaland administration and other officials had fled the area upon receiving a tip off that IS fighters were heading towards the village.
IS is a split of Al-Shabaab terrorists who still largely remain loyal to Al-Qaeda.
Although reports indicate that the number of Al-Shabaab militants declaring a shift of loyalty to IS is increasing, particularly in Jubaland and Lower Shabelle region, which is also in southern Somalia, the two Islamist groups appear to be using the same banner which has a black flag with Tawheed writing.
Tawheed in Arabic means attributing oneness to Allah.
“The arriving militants burnt the house of Tuulo Barwaqo Village chief,” said a resident who contacted the media anonymously because of security reasons.