Moderate Islamists seize Somali town from the govt troops
DHUUSAMAREEB, Somalia Feb 10, 2015 (Garowe Online)- Militias loyal to the moderate Islamist group of Ahlu-Sunna Wal Jamaca have captured a town in central Somali following hours of battle with the government troops on Tuesday, a major blow to the Somali government which is trying to reintegrate the militia into the army, Garowe Online reports.
The fighting which killed more than 12 people saw Islamists seized the town of Guriel in deadly battles with the government troops, expelling officials and prompted large displacement by the town residents.
Medical sources in the town reported that more than 30 people were wounded in the fighting.
The moderate Islamist group which expelled the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group from Galgadud region and the surrounding areas has been in dispute with the government on the control of the Guriel for the past few months. Fighting erupted after mediations aimed at resolving the crisis failed.
The fighting comes as Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited the neighboring town of Dhusomareb on Tuesday, liberated by the Ahlu-Sunna militias after long deadly battles with Al-Shabab fighters who failed to recapture the town on multiple occasions.