Residents say Kenyan forces have pulled out of a town in southwestern Somalia where Islamic extremists killed Kenyan peacekeepers recently.

Ahmed Hassan, who lives in El-Ade, said the town is "no man's land now" after Kenyan troops started withdrawing early Tuesday and heading toward the Kenyan border.

He said many residents started returning to their homes after the Kenyans left.

Kenyan officials have not said how many troops were killed in the attack on January 15, but the extremist group al-Shabab claimed to have killed about 100 Kenyans.

Al-Shabab opposes Kenya's military presence in Somalia and has carried out many attacks inside Kenyan territory.