Eight Killed in Al-Shabaab Attack Near Somalia’s Capital

Somali army

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Eight people were killed, among them five soldiers in a dawn attack launched by Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants on a town near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, a resident and police official said on Thursday.

Militants attacked and overran troops guarding a bridge at a town entrance, residents and police officials said.

We were in a mosque praying when a heavy exchange of gunfire took place at the bridge. Al-Shabaab thus captrued the town, overruning the soldiers at the bridge,” Hassan Nur, a shopkeeper in Bal’ad, told Reuters news agency.

He added that people ran into their houses when firing started and he saw the bodies of five soldiers and two civilians.

A police captain Farah Ali said the insurgents “captured the entire town in the fighting and left without patrolling”.

I understand there are about eight people dead including soldiers,” he added.

Bal’ad, an agricultural town just 30 km north of Mogadishu has changed hands between militants and government troops multiple times within this year. Al-Shabaab-affiliated media reported that fighters had seized a vehicle belonging to a regional MP and other equipment.

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