At least 7 killed in heavy fighting in Somalia

Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP

xinhua

 

At least seven people were killed and several others injured in heavy fighting between Somali National Army backed by the African Union peacekeeping troops and Al-Qaida linked group in Afgoye town in lower Shabelle, 30km south of the capital Mogadishu on Monday night.

Head of Somali Government’s Police Station in Afgoye town, Yusuf Mohamed told journalists on Tuesday that bitter confrontation between joint forces and Al-Shabaab militants broke out after Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a police station.

According to the Mohamed and independent sources, five civilians and two police officers were killed during the heavy fighting which lasted for about 30 minutes.

“Al-Shabaab militants attacked police station and AU base in the town mid last night, the battle lasted for about an hour, they did not capture the town, we pushed them back. But some civilians were killed,” Mohamed said.

The police officer denied policemen were killed in the attack, but independent sources indicated that the casualties included some policemen.

Farah Hassan, a resident in Afgoye town told Xinhua on Tuesday that armed Al-Shabaab fighters launched a major attack on Amisom and Somali National Army bases in the town.

“There was huge sound of bullets that everyone in sleep woke up immediately and began to seek for refuge nearby. I know five civilians died, three of them were children and I heard two police men were killed”, Hassan said.

Al-Shabab claimed victory in the latest battle in Afgoye town, claiming that it captured the town from AU and Somali troops. They later vacated the town later in the night.

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