Dozens killed as Al-Shabaab overrun river towns in Lower Shabelle
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants took over several towns in the Lower Shabelle region after fierce gun battles that lasted a few hours, as confirmed by residents, government officials and the Islamists themselves.
The attacks which began at dawn left at least dozens of government soldiers dead, leading to the eventual takeover of the riverbank towns of Awdhigley and Mubarak. “Shortly after concluding our dawn prayers we were surprised to hear the eruption of an intense gunfight, which lasted for more than an hour” one of the residents told Harar24.
“After everything calmed down we carefully looked outside to find masked Al-Shabaab fighters roaming the streets, carrying their black flag. There were many dead bodies, some were decapitated” he added.
Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman, Abu Mus’ab Abdulaziz, while speaking to the group’s radio Andalus mentioned that their fighters took control of the towns and killed more than twenty five of what they called “apostates”, while adding that they seized a lot of weapons and ammunitions.
On the other hand, the Somali governor of the Lower Shabelle, Abdikadir Sidi, informed media outlets that the two towns witnessed heavy fighting, but declined to disclose further details.
Meanwhile in a separate incident, three people including a government official belonging to the Ministry of Transportation were gunned in a drive-by shooting at Mogadishu’s Wadajir district. The attack was claimed by the Al-Shabaab militants.