Somalia: Rebellious Ex-Military Officer Says His Forces Take Over Baladwayne Town


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A faction of Somalia’s army against Hirshabelle regional state has taken over control of the town of Baladwayne in the central region of Hiran, their commander General Abukar Huut said on Monday.

In an interview with BBC Somali, Huut said his troops seized control of the strategic town following fighting with government troops and Hirshabelle regional forces on Sunday in the village of Qowlad, some 15 km north of the town.

Hiran governor Ali Jayte on Sunday accused the rival forces of attacking troops dispatched in an attempt to carry out operations against Al-Shabaab and of having links with insurgents controlling large swathes of territory outside the regional capital.

Huut dismissed claims and said they are against Hirshabelle state, adding that they would form another regional government for Hiran region.

Protests against fighting and Hirshabelle authorities broke out in Baladwayne on Sunday and regional governor imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, though it has not come into force.

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