The town of Leego, which lies about 130 km to the northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, is in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region, where al-Shabab last week killed at least 12 peacekeepers in one of the deadliest attacks on AMISOM.
Farah Ahmed, a resident of Leego, told Reuters AMISOM and Somali military forces had pulled out of the town early on Friday.
“That same minute, al-Shabab entered to control the town… The town is now calm and al-Shabab fighters are in every part of the town.”
It was not immediately clear why the military and AMISOM had withdrawn from Leego.
Al-Shabab is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government.
The group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been chased from most of its other strongholds across the country.
But it remains a formidable threat, with its militants frequently carrying out bombings against both civilian and military targets in Mogadishu and other towns in Somalia.