Sunday, July 20, 2014
At least 15 people have been killed and more than 21 others were wounded in a renewed fighting between Ethiopian forces and Al Shabab militants in the outskirts of Bardaale district in the Bakool region south west of the country. The Ethiopian forces came to the area to help residents who have been engaged in a fierce fighting with the militants.
The fighting which erupted late on Friday lasted for several hours and was described as the heaviest fighting to be reported in the region in recent weeks.
Bardaale district commissioner Mohamed Isaq Hassan told the VOA Somali service that residents couldn’t tolerate the pressure from Al Shabab and for that reason they decided to fight them.
“The fighting took place in Toos-weyne village which is about 25 kilometres from Bardaale district—Ethiopian forces joined the fighting to assist the villagers who were obliged to take up arms against Al Shabab” the commissioner said during the interview with VOA on Saturday.
He further stated that Al Shabab militants were defeated in the combat. However, the District Commissioner regretfully reported that the militants also attacked other villages in the region including: Raama-cadeey and Xabaal Barbaar.
“On our side 4 soldiers were killed and 4 others were wounded in the fighting, but the militants suffered heavy losses—we have counted the bodies of 8 militants and they tool 18 other dead bodies with them” the commissioner claimed despite other sources confirming that 15 people were killed in the fighting.
Al Shabab militants were not immediately available for comment.
HOL English News Desk