Residents say hard-line Somali Islamist fighters have captured another town after a pro-government militia abandoned it.
Resident Hassan Muhumed says militia members left the town of Mahaday when they heard the Islamists were coming. Resident Fahad Abdulahi says the Islamists are driving around town with loudspeakers urging residents to attend a rally.
The Islamists seized the nearby provincial capital of Jowhar in central Somalia on Sunday.
The Islamists intensified their attacks on the UN-backed government earlier this month following the defection of two groups of soldiers in the capital. The government now only directly controls a few pockets of the capital although allied militias hold other parts of the country.