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Two unknown helicopters have been spotted flying low level over Beled-weyne, the capital of Hiran region, according to witnesses and residents who spoke to Somalia Report.
"I was sitting at a tea-shop with two of my students when two helicopters flew over us. We were scared because we thought airstrikes were coming so we ran away," said Ma'alin Ahmed, an English teacher in Holwadag district in Beled-weyne.
Dahir Maamule, a local businessman, also confirmed seeing the aircraft.
"I was coming from outskirts of Beled-weyne district when I saw two helicopters flying low over my head. I was surprised and scared," he said.
"They did not any strike our area. We don't know where they came from and twenty minutes later we heard al-Shabaab firing at them in the air," Dahir added.
Others reported seeing three helicopters.
“We saw three helicopters on Thursday at noon and again during the evening prayer,” Hiirad Ahmed a Beled-wayne resident told Somalia Report.
Meanwhile the al-Shabaab administration in Beled-weyne told local residents by loudspeakers to stay away public places and to defend their country from the enemy. They vowed to defend their positions with their anti-aircraft weapons.
No causalities have been reported due to the helicopters.