Sunday, 6 September 2009

Somali rebels 'reclaim town near Mogadishu'

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Somalia's Al Shabaab militia say they have recaptured a key town in battle with pro-government forces, leaving 13 people killed and many others wounded.

Al Shabaab guerrillas claim to have retaken control of the key Somali town of Beledweyne in the central Somali region of Hiiran where a large military base sheltering pro-government troops was located.

At least nine government soldiers and four Al Shabaab insurgents have been killed in the ongoing fierce fighting initiated by the anti-government fighters in the surprise pre-dawn attack, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Al Shabaab group has also reportedly seized a number of soldiers at the base and injured scores of others during the nocturnal raid.

Fighting continues over the strategic border town of Beledweyne which links Mogadishu with Ethiopia and central Somalia and has so far been swapped several times between the fighters vying for control in the country's polity and Somali government forces.

The news of Al Shabaab's recapturing of some Somali towns and districts comes in the aftermath of a recent international troops rise under an African Union mandate in order to boost the government strongholds across the war-ravaged country.

Somalia has lately witnessed a resurgence of militancy across the poverty-stricken Horn of Africa nation that has been grappling with an ongoing civil war after the 1991 overthrow of the country's last military dictatorship under the former leader General Mohamed Siad Barre.

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