Somalia’s Army Battles Al-Shabaab Militants in Hiran Region


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A fighting between the army and fighters of the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has erupted in central Somalia on Tuesday morning, army chief confirmed.

Clashes began after troops launched an assault on a military outpost under the control of militants in the village of El-ba’ad near the town of Bulo-burde in Hiran region, according to Somali army chief Odowa Yusuf Rage.

Residents say they heard heavy gunfire exchanged by the two sides, though casualties on both sides have not been immediately known.

Army chief Odowa Yusuf Rageh said troops had killed a number of Islamist fighters in the battle, but the militant group Al-Shabaab has not yet commented on the gunfight. Somaliguardian has been unable to verify claims independantly.

Sporadic gunfire is still heard in the area and the militants are still in control of the area where fighting with troops lasted for more than three hours, residents say.

Government troops have begun maneuvers in Middle Shabelle and Hiran regions in a bid to retake large swathes of territory held by the militants and remove siege laid by the militants on key towns run by the army and AMISOM forces.

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