A Somali military official said Friday that at least 11 people were killed and five others injured after forces loyal to self-proclaimed Westland state supported by Ethiopian troops under African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM)engaged in a gun battle with Al-Shabab fighters in some parts of Hiraan region, Goobjoog News reported.
According to reports, the joint forces have carried out attacks on two Al-Shabab controlled towns, Buqgoosar and Eel-Ali and Eel-Dher in west of Baladweyn town. A military commander of Westland, Adan Omar Abdulle told Goobjoog News that they have recaptured two towns from Al-Shabab fighters and confirmed casualties on both sides.
“We recaptured two towns from Al-Shabab after hours of fighting. Our soldiers killed nine fighters and injured several others” said Adan who reportedly confirmed that two of their soldiers were killed and five others sustained injuries.
Hundreds of Residents were reported to have been displaced by the fighting between Al-Shabab fighters and forces of the proclaimed Westland State.
Somali government forces backed AMISOM troops have been carrying out attacks on Al-Shabab controlled areas in many of the country.
Al-Shabaab which has been controlling large swaths of southern and central Somalia for years, is getting weak after great pressure exerted on it from different sides.
The Al-Shabab, meaning “youth” in Arabic, emerged out of a bitter insurgency against Ethiopia, whose troops entered Somalia in 2006 in a US-backed invasion to topple the Islamic Courts Union that was then controlling the capital Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab fighters continue to stage frequent attacks, seeking to counter claims that they are close to defeat after losing territory in the face of repeated African Union and Somali government offensives, regular US drone strikes against their leaders and defections.