GALKAYO, Puntland- Heavy fighting erupted in Mudug region between Puntland Security forces (PSF) and Al Shabaab militants group on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports.
The clashes sparked when PSF soldiers-U.S. Pentagon backed counter terrorism taskforce- attacked Al Shabaab fighters in Buraad area located 15 km east of Galkayo city, according to military sources.
Al Shabaab fighters were regrouping in the outskirt of Galkayo city to launch attacks against PSF base and Puntland army base in Godod area located at the border between Galmudug and Puntland.
“The PSF soldiers have killed 15 militants, seized 2 battle wagons and burned other vehicles belonging to Al Shabaab militants,” military source told GO.
Local residents in the area, said that they heard heavy exchange of heavy fires in the early hours of the day, but couldn’t confirm the causality of the clashes.
Al Qaida linked Al Shabaab group have staged frequent attacks in Puntland region, as recently have captured coastal areas in March 2016, but sweeping military operations by Puntland forces have successfully repulsed Al Shabaab fighters from the coastal areas.
Al Shabab Sympathizers in Galmudug controlled areas is believed to have prompted Al Shabaab fighters to target Puntland forces, in retaliation to a recent ban imposed by Puntland government banning commercial trucks from Central and Southern Somalia from crossing into Galkayo city.
The ban was imposed following deadly twin bombing in Galkayo’s main market in August, resulted in the death of many civilians and government forces.
xigasho: Garoowe online