15 March 2014

Somalia: 10 Killed As Al Shabaab Attacks Liberated Towns

Beledweyne — At least 10 people were confirmed dead and 23 others were wounded after Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab fighters attacked the Somali Federal Government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military bases in central and southwestern Somalia overnight on Friday, Garowe Online reports.

The central Somali town and Hiraan regional district of Bulo Barde, about 250 km north of Mogadishu witnessed 'an hour long' firefight between Somali government forces aided by African Union peacekeepers and Al Shabaab militants, residents confirmed.

Speaking to GO via telephone, Bulo Barde resident told that they woke up to calm situation in the early hours of Saturday morning: "I saw five bodies including a djiboutian peacekeeper in the downtown. The situation is under control and Somali government forces AMISOM soldiers beefed up their presence in the outskirts of Bulo Barde".

The communication lines have been off and on for the last few hours and Djiboutian peacekeepers are on tour of duty according to witnesses.

Meanwhile in Gedo region town of Buur Dhubo of southwestern Somalia, suspected Al Shabaab militants fired mortar shells onto built up areas from unknown vicinities, inflicting heavy loses on innocent civilians.

Independent sources verified five deaths, although the extremists faced stiff resistance from Somali government soldiers and AMISOM peacekeepers co-located at temporary bases in Buur Dhubo.

Residents of Buur Dhubo town said, the wounded were flown to Mogadishu by Helicopter on Saturday morning.

Fierce military offensives dislodged Al Shabaab from a string of strategic towns in Hiraan, Gedo and Bakool regions of southern Somalia.

Security analysts have down played the outcome of the move against Al Qaeda inspired fighters, with former officials warning of weak counter-terrorism policy that may emanate from President Hassan's government and threats of instability in Mogadishu.

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