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Galmudug minister rebuffs claims of Al-Shabaab takeover

Friday August 27, 2021

FILE PHOTO - Ahmed Shire Falagle, Galmudug Minister of Information

Mogadishu (HOL) - Galmudug's Information Minister, Ahmed Shire Falagle, has denied reports that Al-Shabaab militants have retaken control of the villages of Amara and Ba'adweyne in the souther  Mudug region.

In an interview with BBC Somali on Friday, the Minister of Information said that the reports were propaganda intended by Al-Shabaab to discourage the people of Galmudug and the ongoing efforts.

Ahmed Shire Falagle said there was no strategic benefit for Galmudug forces to withdraw from the captured towns and that they were now working to move the troops forward.

"In the coming hours, we will share with the public the location of the troops and our ongoing operations. "We can assure you that the enemy has captured not a single well," he said.

Amaara is one of three towns in Galmudug recently liberated by federal and regional soldiers with help from U.S air support.

On Thursday, Several reports emerged that Al-Shabaab fighters had recaptured several villages, including Amara, Ba'adweyne, Qeycad and Shabelle, from government forces after an abrupt pull-out by federal and regional troops to Misil, in north-central Mudug.

On Tuesday, Somali security forces retook Amara from Al-Shabaab fighters, who briefly took the town following a dawn raid that began with a suicide vehicle-borne explosion. Six people, including four soldiers government soldiers, were killed in the blast, according to government sources.

The U.S. Africa Command confirmed that it was called in for an airstrike by government forces.

"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab fighters engaged in active combat with our Somali partners in the vicinity of Cammaara, Somalia, on Aug. 24."

The statement added that no civilians were killed or injured based on its initial assessment, while the Somali government said the airstrike killed 90 Al-Shabab fighters.


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