At least 20 Killed as Somali Troops Fight Militia

Witnesses and Somali regional officials said at least 20 people were killed and more than 40 injured on Saturday (23/10) when a moderate Islamist group clashed with Somali government forces over control of a city in central Somalia.

The clashes took place on Saturday (23/10) dawn when government forces gathered outside Guri-El, about 400 kilometers north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, attacked a base controlled by Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) rebels.

According to residents, both sides used heavy artillery, mortars, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns in fierce street battles.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, military officials from both sides of the opposition told Mouab that casualties fell on both sides.

Ahmed Shire Falagle, Galmudug’s regional information minister, told Mouab that government forces eventually seized control of the city and that the opposing side was retreating.

Mouab contacted several ASWJ offices, but has not responded. [vm/ft]

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