Home LAND:
Central Somalia Fighting Continues
ASWJ Battles Al-Shabaab Once More in Galgudud
By AWEYS CADDE 01/02/2012
ASWJ Forces near Dhusamreeb
Ahmed Haji Hassan
ASWJ Forces near Dhusamreeb
Reports from Galgadud region in central Somalia indicate that heavy fighting between al-Shabaab insurgents and the pro-government moderate Islamic militias of Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa (ASWJ) took place in Bulucle village, 30 kilometers east of Dhusamareeb district late on Sunday.

The fighting erupted when ASWJ fighters launched an attack on al-Shabaab bases in the outskirts of Bulucle.

An ASWJ officer in Galgadud region, Sheikh Abdiwali Siyaad, claimed that his fighters captured Bulucle and killed more than 10 al-Shabaab fighters.

“The fighting erupted at about 4:00pm (1300 GMT), and after one hour of fighting our forces seized the village. Two of our fighters were injured,” he told Somalia Report.

“The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and ASWJ wish to liberate all the central regions in Somalia from al-Shabaab. We will keep fighting against those who are causing problems in our community until we hide their names from then world,” he added.

Al-Shabaab military spokesman Sheikh Abiaziz Abu Muscab held a press conference in Mogadishu and confirmed the fighting, claiming victory.

“They tried to attack our bases in Galgadud region, but the Mujahideen ambushed their convoy in Gedtimir village near Dhusamareeb. We killed several of their fighters and seized military equipment,” he said.

“We eagerly awaited the pro-Ethiopian militias to come out and fight with us, and we inflicted unforgettable losses on them. Ethiopia invaded our country but they will taste the bullets of the Mujahideen, and will run away as they did three years ago,” he added.

Dhusamareeb has been a focal point of fighting between ASWJ and al-Shabaab in recent weeks, as al-Shabaab fighters attempt to seize control of Galgudud from the Sufi milita.

Al-Shabaab Fighters Defect

ASWJ officials in Dhusamareb district on Sunday displayed three al-Shabaab fighters carrying their weapons, who had surrendered themselves to the group.

“They come from El Garas village, and surrendered to us; they asked forgiveness to the Somali people, since they caused many problems for the community of this region,” an ASWJ officer in Dhusamareeb, Aden Ilka Asse said.

“We are calling all the other fighters to put their weapons down and surrender. The Somali people understood the wrong ideology of al-Shabaab and stand to fight against them,” he added.

Fighting in Hiran

Meanwhile, at least 15 al-Shabaab fighters were killed as Transitional Federal Government (TFG), ASWJ, Shabele Valley Administration (SVA), and Ethiopian troops fought against al-Shabaab militias in Darimbaale village, 50 kilometers east of Beledweyne district in Hiran region on Sunday.

According to ASWJ officers in Hiran, the fighting broke out when the allied group attacked al-Shabaab bases in the village and the militants were forced to withdraw.

“We killed 12 extremists and seized the village, we also burned one of their military vehicles, with no casualties on our side. The situation is calm this morning,” ASWJ deputy operations chairman Aden Abdulle Awale told Somalia Report.

Meanwhile, TFG troops in Hiran region claimed that they had captured more than 10 al-Shabaab fighters, including top officials on Sunday morning.

“The seized men include the head of the finance office in Hiran, Haji Qurow, as well as Sheikh Mustafa, Abu Micshah, Qataada Al-Asqar and other officers. They were trying to escape to Bakool region when the security forces seized them in the west of Hiran. The apprehended men are in the hands of Ethiopian forces,” a TFG officer in Hiran told Somalia Report on condition of anonymity.