Somalia Anti-government Militias Attack Baladwayne Town


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Anti-government militias have attacked the town of Baladwayne in central Somalia on Thursday morning as dispute over newly established regional administration sparks tensions.

Heavily armed militias launched an attack on government compounds and army bases in the center of the town which later turned to a full-blown fighting, residents say.

Heavy exchange of gunfire was heard as clashes continued at multiple directions in the town shortly after the Morning Prayer.

The two sides also used heavy weapons and there are reports of residential areas shelled. The fighting caused damage to regional government compounds.

Local officials have not yet briefed media about the attack carried out by militias loyal to former army officer general Hud, who has been mobilizing clan militias outside Baladwayne over the past few months since the election of Ali Gudlawe as Hirshabelle president late last year.

Sources who have spoken to Somaliguardian say there are casualties, though the exact number is not immediately clear.

Tensions have been building up in the central Somalia town since Ali Gudlawe has been elected regional president and protests staged by residents against the new administration have swept through Baladwayne.

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