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Army kills 20 Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia

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AL- SHABAAB: Based in southern Somalia, Al-Shabaab is a so-called “clan-based insurgent and terrorist group,” which began as the militant wing of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts in 2006. That year the group took over much of the southern region before being defeated in January 2007. Since then, the group has claimed an affiliation with al-Qaida. According to the National Counterterrorism Center, “the group has exerted temporary and, at times, sustained control over strategic locations in southern and central Somalia by recruiting, sometimes forcibly, regional sub-clans and their militias, using guerrilla asymmetrical warfare and terrorist tactics against the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and its allies, African Union peacekeepers, and nongovernmental aid organizations.” Above, is a photo of militants belonging to the Al-Shabaab during a show of force in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Oct. 21, 2010. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

The Somali National Army (SNA) killed at least 20 al-Shabab militants in a fierce fighting in Somali’s southern village of Muse Haji on Tuesday evening, army officials said Wednesday.

The fighting broke out when al-Shabab militants attempted to launch an ambush on military base in Muse Haji village in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia.

“They (al-Shabab) have tried to attack our base but we have managed to bush them back and killed 20 of them,” SNA Commander for the 43rd Sector, Ismail Sheikh Isaq, said.

The commander added that the forces initially fired on a speedy car killing the suicide bomber and then engaged a gun battle with the fighters and later subdued them.

Residents in nearby villages told Xinhua that they heard blasts followed by huge gunfire at the military base .

“The fighting lasted for hours and both sides have exchanged huge gunfire but now the government forces are in full control of the area,” a resident, Ahmed Nur, told Xinhua.

The militant group is yet to comment on the latest assault by SNA which comes amid increased military operations in southern Somalia particularly Lower Shabelle region which remains one of the strongholds of the group.


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