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Intense fighting erupts between Somali government forces and al-Shabaab on outskirts of Beledweyne

Friday May 5, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) - Intense combat erupted on the outskirts of Beledweyne, the administrative center of Somalia's Hiiraan region, as government forces backed by local militias clashed with al-Shabab militants.

The conflict transpired in the Mohamed Hassan area, roughly 22 kilometres south of Beledweyne. The fighting commenced when militants infiltrated the region overnight and assaulted government and local military installations. Both factions deployed heavy weaponry.

A Berhano village resident informed HOL news that the skirmish was the most intense they had witnessed in the Bardhere, Berhana, and Mohamed Hassan communities.

"We heard powerful weapons and two extreme blasts. I cannot confirm whether it was a suicide attack, and the gunfire persists. Residents of the affected and neighbouring areas have fled to the mountains," the individual reported during the hostilities.

Al-Shabaab fighters are said to have excavated massive trenches in Tabantab last night, where Friday morning's battle took place. The casualty count remains uncertain, with no comments from either side.

In a coordinated effort, the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and global allies eliminated over 40 al-Shabaab combatants, among them ten foreign militants, in southern Somalia.

The operation unfolded on Tuesday near Nungare, located in the Afgoy district of the Lower Shabelle region.


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