Somalia recaptures town from IS-linked fighters; 34 dead

A Somali official says security forces have recaptured a port town from Islamic State-linked fighters in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland.

Yusuf Mohamed, the governor of Puntland's commercial hub of Bossaso, says 30 militants and four soldiers were killed during the operation Wednesday to recapture Qandala.

Residents confirmed that troops entered the town after fighters retreated into nearby villages.

The seizure of Qandala in October had been the first victory for the Islamic State-linked fighters, who are expanding the areas under their control amid a rivalry with the homegrown al-Shabab extremist group.

The fighters broke away from al-Shabab and declared allegiance to ISIS last year.

Al-Shabab sees the splinter group as a threat to its operations in the long-chaotic Horn of Africa nation.