17 Killed in Central Somalia

Published on Monday 5th April 2010 17 Killed in Central Somalia

At least 17 people, mostly fighters have been killed and over 20 others injured on Sunday in heavy clashes that erupted in central Somalia, officials and witnesses said.

Heavy fighting erupted on the night of Saturday in Rage Ele area in Middle Shabelle between fighters loyal to Al-Shabaab and archrival Ahlu Sunnah

Wal-Jamaa, killing at least 8 people mostly fighters from both sides and injured 11 others.

Witnesses said the warring sides used heavy and light weapons in the fighting that continued for several hours.

A spokesman for Ahlu Sunnah said his group has captured the area from Al-Shabaab, vowing to continue with the fight.

"We planned for this fight and we have achieved our mission," said Sheikh Omar Muse Hussein, adding Al-Shabaab fled the area, leaving behind the bodies of four fighters.

On other hand, fierce gun battle erupted Sunday between Ahlu Sunnah and Al-Shabaab in an area between Guriel and Elbur towns in Galgadud region, claming 9 lives and few others.

Witnesses said residents have fled the area, which has now fallen under the hands of Al-Shabaab.

The fighting is part of the escalating bloody conflict between the two groups, which both have military presences in central Somalia.



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