26 December 2012

Somalia Govt Forces in 'Strategic Retreat' From Town Near Kismayo

Kismayo — Somali government troops strategically retreated from the town of Bulo-Gudud in the Lower Jubba region on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.

Somali government troops stationed in the town of Bulo-Gudud village 30km north of the port city of Kismayo said that they retreated for strategic reasons.

According to military officials, the forces will return to the town in the coming days but did not explain why they had retreated.

Unconfirmed reports said that Al Shabaab fighters who were driven out of the town had returned on Tuesday forcing the troops stationed there to retreat

The Somali Federal Government has not officially commented on the retreat on Tuesday.

In related news, authorities in Mogadishu arrested at least 24 people on Wednesday after security operations were conducted in the Hamarweyne district.

Local sources say, some of the people arrested were wearing police uniforms.

Witnesses told Garowe Online that the people arrested on Wednesday were officers who were extorting residents in the district.

The residents in the district told GO that they were jubilant by the arrest of the 24 individuals.

"I'm very happy because some of these men used to extort money from businesses and vehicles in the area. We have complained many times to the government and they responded with these arrests," said a business owner in the Hamarweyne district.

Authorities in Mogadishu removed at least 60 illegal roadblocks in the war-torn city earlier this month.

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