11 August 2009

Somalia: Ahlu Sunnah Take District in Central Somalia, Shabaab Withdraw

El Dher — Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamee'a militias entered El Dher district in Galgadud region at around midnight, residents said on Tuesday.

There were no reports of fighting and local sources said Al Shabaab gunmen who had controlled the district for the past year "withdrew peacefully."

Currently, Al Shabaab fighters control El Bur district. All other districts in Galgadud, including the provincial capital Dhusamareb, were forcefully retaken by Ahlu Sunnah militias in fierce battles against Al Shabaab.

El Dher resident Ali Mussa, who spoke with Radio Garowe, said: "Fighters with many armed trucks moved in last night. The situation is currently peaceful."

Ahlu Sunnah is not part of the TFG, but has close ties with TFG leaders and functions as the Somali interim government's troops in the central regions.

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