10 killed, 20 hurt in Somalia clashes..

Halkaan ka akhri

MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 30 — Clashes between the Somali al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabaab and pro-government forces killed at least 10 people and injured more than 20, authorities said.

The fighting between al-Shabaab and the Sufi militia group Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama, which backs the transitional government, occurred in central Somali villages in the regions of Galgadud and Hiran, Garowe Online reported.

The clashes began in El Bahay in the Galgadud region when al-Shabaab insurgents attacked a village, killing at least six.

“We attacked and captured the area from our foes. It is part of our plans to expand our grip on territories in central regions,” an al-Shabaab official said.

Ahlu Sunnah’s grand chairman, Ma’alin Mohammud Sheikh Hassan, confirmed fighting but denied losing the area to Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab also attacked a military base used by government troops and pro-government Ahlu Sunnah in north Beledweyne, the capital of Hiran region.

A government official said the insurgents had suffered casualties and were repelled without capturing the base.

The two sides have been fighting since mid-2009 over control of some central Somali towns.

Source: UPI


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