Heavy clashes between Al-Shabaab & government forces in Middle Shabelle leaves 15 dead
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Several sources have indicated that members of the Islamist movement Al-Shabaab have carried out coordinated attacks on the towns of Mahaday & Buurane, both in the Middle Shabelle.
The clashes between Al-Shabaab & the Somali Armed Forces commenced late in the night and is said to have lasted up to an hour with heavy weaponry being used by both sides. According to Al-Shabaab sources after an hour long battle, all armed forces fled the area leaving Al-Shabaab in control of the town, who claim they left the town on their own accord in the early morning. They further added that they’d confiscated several vehicles, while burning some and also obtained anti-aircraft machine guns. Several Al-Shabaab online sources have published images of the confiscated items.
Local residents who stayed awake throughout the ordeal at night came out of their houses after the Al-Shabaab militants left the town. Some residents claim to have seen at least fifteen dead bodies of members of the armed forces, however they also believe there were casualties on Al-Shabaab’s side but suspected that they had taken their bodies.
Meanwhile, the militants also attacked the town of Burano not too far away, where according to Al-Shabaab sources they have confiscated several weapons amongst other items.
On the other hand, officials from the Somali government confirmed claims that Al-Shabaab held the town temporarily and claimed to have “pushed back” the militants who according to officials in the area did “a lot of damage to infrastructures in the town”.
Several weeks ago, Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman “Abu Mus’ab” promised a change in tactics and strategy and threatened to “obliterate” headquarters, checkpoints, military installations and bases. Analysts believe that we could now be witnessing these changes in strategy.