Afican Union troops deployed in central Somalia.

Halkaan ka akhri

Hundreds of African Union (AU) troops have reportedly entered the strategically important towns of the central Somali region of Galgadud.

According to local residents, the troops were cordoning off residential areas and going from house to house searching for weapons on late Saturday, a Press TV correspondent reports.

“The troops are now based in the central Somali village of Mareer-gur, about 30 km north of Dhusamareb, the capital of Galgadud region,” a resident said.

Clashes between pro-government AU troops and al-Shabab fighters in Somalia have so far left many civilians dead.

In the latest clashes, 28 people were killed and 34 others injured in the districts of Hodan and Hawl Wadag.

An al-Shabab spokesman, Sheikh Abu Mus’ab, claims that the pro-government forces were getting support from Ethiopian forces.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since former dictator Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991.

The Somali government controls only a small part of Mogadishu. Lack of coordination among its forces, who are poorly trained and seldom paid, has long prohibited the government from being able to wage a full-scale war against the opposition forces.

Fighting, famine and disease have led to the deaths of nearly one million people in the African country and crushed all government efforts at restoring security.

There are more than 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia. More than 300,000 of them are sheltered in Mogadishu, alone.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, most of the IDPs live in squalid conditions at makeshift sites in southern and central Somalia.

Source: Press tv

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