Heavily armed Al shabaab militants have briefly retaken the control of El Wak town near Somali border with Kenya following a dawn attack on Saturday.

Local residents, told Radio Shabelle that the town fell into Al Shabaab hands after Somali government and Jubbaland forces have withdrawn from the town and fled towards Kenya.

Both sides have engaged hours-long gun-battle, but the number of casualties has not yet been confirmed. Residents are in fear of a possible counter-attack from the Somali forces.

According to the residents who spoke on condition of anonymity said the town is under full control of Al shabaab militants who seized the Police station and the administrative HQ.

Jubbaland army officials are yet to comment on the seizure of the border town.