Al-Shabaab kills 24 people in central and southwest Somalia

Al-Shabaab kills 24 people in central and southwest Somalia
# 18 June 2015 18:17 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Al-Shabaab announced Thursday that they killed 24 people in southwest and central Somalia, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Sixteen Somali government soldiers were killed in an attack in the village of Gedweyne in the southwestern region of Gedo. The militant movement made the announcement via, an al-Shabaab affiliated news website.

“The movement’s fighters attacked today a military post in the village of Gedweyne, and took control of it for a number of hours before withdrawing from it,” the announcement said. “Sixteen soldiers were killed in this attack, which lasted four hours.”

Earlier on Thursday, six people were killed in an attack on the city of Adado in the Galguduud region in central Somalia, targeting a building in which a meeting was taking place to form a local administration, according to eyewitnesses and local officials.

Speaking to an Anadolu Agency reporter over the phone, the eyewitnesses said that an explosive-laden vehicle driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the entrance of the building.

This was followed by an exchange of fire between Ethiopian troops charged with protecting the building and three militants who attempted to storm it.

Four militants were killed, including the suicide bomber and a civilian near the scene of the incident.

A government official said, on condition of anonymity, that the assault was fierce and led to the death of all the militants.

With regards to losses among the ranks of the Ethiopian troops, the official said that he saw the corpse of one Ethiopian security member and a number of others injured by the assault, whose numbers he did not mention.

The meeting was meant to form a local administration as part of the government’s plans to institute a federal form of governance in the country.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack shortly after it occurred, according to an al-Shabaab affiliated news website.

“The movement’s fighters stormed the building in which the meeting was taking place and killed a number of Ethiopian forces responsible for protecting it,” the website reported an unnamed official in the group as saying, without clarifying if there were causalities among the militants or those in the meeting.

None of the sources clarified the fate of the meeting which was taking place in the targeted building.

Al-Shabaab control sections of central and southern Somalia, but has started to lose control in the face of African Union and Somali army forces, leading the militant movement to launch attacks on security personnel and government centers in the country.

Founded in 2004, al-Shabaab is an armed movement ideologically aligned with al-Qaeda and claims that it seeks to enforce Sharia law in Somalia.