Al-Shabaab Fighters attack and take over Amisom bases in the outskirt of Beledweyne
Mogadishu (Harar24) – A heavy battle that lasted for a few hours occurred in the areas of Luuq-Jeelow and Baar Village in the outskirt of Beledweyne in Hiiraan province between combined forces of Djiboutian & Somali troops against Al-Shabaab fighters.
According to the residents Fighters belonging to Al-shabaab had attacked Djaboutian troop bases in the area of Luuq-Jeelow which prompted heavy fight that lasted more than 4 hours.
Lately it was rumored that AMISOM forces have intended to advance towards Al-Shabaab position in the outskirt of Beledweyne in order push Al-Shabaab out of the area. According to certain sources today’s combined forces could have well been part of the AMISOM forces intending to head to these positions, however, as expected Al-Shabaab put up a fight, as they will not easily give up such a strategic position.
The battle had been described by locals & witnesses as “fierce and ferocious” as both sides tried to stand their grounds for their cause. A local from Luuq-Jeelow who spoke to our correspondent in the area said: “I was far away from the area of the fight, but still the sounds of gunfire and explosions managed to scare away my cattle I was herding. Both were using heavy weaponry, it was deafening.”
According to our correspondent the Al-Shabaab fighters are now present in Baar Village which lies eighteen kilometers away from Beledweyne, after the combined forces of Djiboutian and Somali troops retreated back to Beledweyne.
Neither side could be reached for comments or a response regarding the attack nor has either side spoken of the incident.
Hiiran province has been witnessing an increase in violence and attacks, especially in Beledweyne where Al-Shabaab fighers have been carrying out attacks either during the day or night. Are the AMISOM forces ready to advance to the outskirts of Beledweyne without having secured Beledweyne from attacks & Al-Shabaab operations? Or will they go ahead regardless and have other area in the region turned into yet another Beledweyne?