Al-Shabaab raids village, kills several civilians in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least ten villagers were killed on Wednesday morning in the outskirts of Ba'adweyn village in the Mudug region, government officials said, in yet another attack which was engineered by Al-Shabaab militants, who have been wreaking havoc in the Horn of Africa nation.
According to Somalia government officials, fighting broke out between Al-Shabaab militants and a pro-establishment militia, and a fierce exchange of fire ensued, leaving at least ten people dead and dozens injured during the melee which lasted a couple of hours.
The Al-Shabaab militants, who are said to have completely overrun the military base which has been under the custody of the local militia, took over several weapons among other arsenals during the confrontations. They also destroyed the base, Ahmed Awad, an official said.
Those wounded, he added, were taken to a local facility where they are currently recuperating from the serious gunfight. However, he added, most of the victims have been stabilized by medical officers working in the troubled region, which has been an epicenter of deadly Al-Shabaab attacks.
"The militants raided a local militia base and opened fire for the better part of Wednesday morning. We've lost close to ten local fighters who were out to defend the territory and this is a sacrifice that we cannot take for granted," the official told reporters moments after the attack.
He added: "We advocate for calmness as our people fight hard to defend the territory which is under threat from the militants. It's something which we can do and it's time all Somalis rise up against violent extremism which has derailed development in our country."
Reports indicate that the Al-Shabaab fighters took off from the village after massive destruction. The government deployed security forces from the Somali National Army [SNA] who are currently pursuing the militants in the nearby thickets.
Mudug is one of the troublesome regions in Somalia and it has often experienced fierce battle between security forces and the Al-Shabaab militants. In May, the militants killed Mudug Governor Muse Nur at the border town of Galkayo, an incident that led to the deployment of more security officers in Galmadug.
The Al-Shabaab militants control large swathes of rural southern and central Somalia, something which has sabotaged the setting up of a functional government in Somalia. The militants have, however, reduced attacks in different parts of the country due to ongoing security operations that are being spearheaded by SNA.
Next year, Somali security forces will assume full responsibilities when the AMISOM troops finally vacate the country. Currently, there are close to 22,000 AMISOM troops who are stationed at different regions across Somalia.