15 dead in Southern Somalia deadly gun battle

Published: August 26, 2015

gun battleFierce fighting in a South-western Somali town on Wednesday has left at least 15 people dead, mostly soldiers and militants, sources have said.
The fighting erupted after Somali government forces attacked an al-Shabaab militants’ outpost in a village close to the town of Beled hawo, close to the Kenyan-Somalia border.
Government officials have said that the militants were putting under siege the cities and villages not under their control.
According to sources, most of the people who died in the deadly gun battle were from both sides.
Further reports claim that among the dead is the deputy district commissioner of Beled Hawo and senior army officials. A senior al-Shabaab commander is also thought to be dead.
The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to independently verify the exact numbers and identity the dead.
Al-Shabaab lost the control of its last major strongholds in Southern Somalia last month after the allied forces launched an offensive to secure the remaining territories under the extremists’ control.
But they remain dangerous, unpredictable and bold, known for audacious and chilling attacks. Their fighters routinely target the Somali government in Mogadishu. The group has also sought to terrorize neighboring Kenya.
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