Heavy fighting in central Somalia as army pushes Al-Shabaab out of villages

The Somali National Army, backed by Galmudug security forces and African Union troops, have seized several villages from the militant group, Al-Shabaab in the central Galgadud region, after heavy clashes that continued for hours.

Galmudug state’s security ministry said in a statement that the SNA’s 21st Division, backed by Galmudug security forces and the Djiboutian troops who are part of AMISOM, seized the villages of Mir-Dugle, Bula’le and El Ali Mire villages from Al-Shabaab militants.

The statement quoted military commanders on the frontlines as saying that they captured equipment, including arms from the fleeing Al-Shabaab fighters.

Reliable reports from the region also indicate that the troops captured the villages of Hirsi-fin, Ada-Har, El-gureye and God-dhurwaa, which are loctaed south of Galmudug state capital, Dusamareb.

The reports added that the Somali troops, backed by AMISOM forces, are on their way to take control of El-Lahelay and El-Garas areas, which have been under Al-Shabaab control for more than a decade.

Army commanders involved in the operation confirmed at least 10 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed in the heavy clashes, which are reportedly still ongoing. They did not comment of the casualties from the Somali army and AMISOM side.