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Heavy fighting alongside airstrikes reported in Hiiraan region

Thursday February 16, 2023

Beledweyne (HOL) - Unidentified drones bombed villages in the Hiiraan region on Thursday, where heavy fighting has been ongoing since Wednesday evening between Somali government forces backed by local militia forces and al Shabab.

Residents say the fighting in Iji and Afad villages near Jalalaqsi district began on Wednesday after joint forces attacked militants attempting to cross the Shabelle River to the other side.

Somali government officials told the local media that the battles in Iji and Afad resulted in a heavy defeat for the al-Shabab group.

However, the official casualties from the fighting are still unknown.
According to the most recent reports from the area, government forces and local militia have completely seized control of the Afad village between the Jalalaqsi and Buulaburte districts in the Hiiraan region.

Somalia's Information Minister Daud Aweis said at a news conference in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday that 200 al-Shabab militants were killed during operations in Galmudug, South West State, and Jubaland this week.

The Somali National Army has been fighting al-Shabaab terrorists since President Mohamud declared an "all-out war" on them after his re-election for a second term in May last year.


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