Deadly clashes erupted on Wednesday between Puntland security forces and extremists belonging to the al-Shabaab movement in the remote Northern Nugal province of Somalia, Horseed Media reports.
The battle started after Puntland forces launched an offensive against the militants that reached the coastal province two days ago from Central Somalia.
Local residents of Suuj village where the clash erupted told Horseed Media that heavy weapons were used in the battle
Puntland’s Minister of Information Mohamud Hassan So’adde told the media that at least 20 militants died in the clashes and two Puntland soldiers were injured.
He vowed that they will eliminate the group from the region in the coming 72-hours.
The area is off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to independently verify the accurate information. Mobile network has been offline since the battle erupted.
Al Shabaab militants captured Garacad, a coastal town in the north-central province of Mudug on Monday evening. The militants pulled back on Tuesday morning to other coastal towns in the Northern part as residents in a nearby town and security forces were preparing to launch an offensive to retake the town.