SomaliPress.com

Somalia's Al-Shabaab Capture Strategic Central Town

Published on Sunday 3rd January 2010

Somalia's Al-Shabaab insurgent group has reportedly seized the control of central town of Dhusamareb, the capital of Galgadud region 500km north of capital Mogadishu.

Reports say heavily armed Al-Shabaab militia attacked the town on Saturday morning and overpowered militia loyal to Ahul-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa, who controlled the strategic town.

Local residents report that dozens have been killed in the fighting, but information about the actual figure is still scanty.

Earlier, Sheikh Abdullahi Abdirahman Abu Yussuf, a representative for Ahlu-Sunnah confirmed the fighting in the town but insisted that the town is still under their control.

"Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the town but we have repelled. The town is still under our hands," he said.

Independent sources however report that the control of the town has totally changed hands with armed Al-Shabaab fighters patrolling the streets.

The fighting comes a day after Ahul-sunnah elected officials for the local assembly and a speaker. However, the officials were not around when the town was captured.

Al-Shabaab has recently vowed to recapture all the towns that they lost to Ahlu-Sunnah, in particular Dhusamareb, which is the birthplace of Al-Shabaab's founder Sheikh Hash Aden Ayrow.

The two groups, who have long history of animosity, have large military presence in the central Somali regions and is feared that the clashes will spread to the other towns in the region.

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