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Fighting in Southern Somalia
An unconfirmed number of fighters were killed as Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers, Ethiopian troops, Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) and pro-government clan militias of Ras-Kamboni fought against al-Shabaab insurgents in southern Somalia over the last 24 hours.
The fighting erupted when al-Shabaab fighters launched hit and run attacks on the allied forces bases’ in Gofgadud, Qoqani, Yurkud and Berdale districts of Bay and Lower Jubba regions.
TFG chairman in Bay region Abdifatah Gessey confirmed the fighting in Bay and claimed that they killed four al-Shabaab fighters.
“They attacked the national forces who were fetching water near Gofgadud Shabelow village, but thanks to Allah, we chased them away and killed four of them seizing many weapons,” Gessey told Somalia Report.
Speaking to pro-al-Shabaab radio staions, al-Shabaab military spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Mascab, claimed that al-Shabaab fighters are surrounding the allied forces bases in Bay region and are closing in on Baidoa which was seized by TFG and Ethiopian forces last month.
“We have pushed the infidels and their slaves, and we are still going forward to Baidoa, we hope our fighters are not going back from the region but they are moving forward and winning,” he said.
“During this rainy season, we will increase the operations against the enemy. We will deny them rest and not allow them to enjoy our country. Soon you will hear the last victory of Islam and the defeat of the infidel,” he added.
Meanwhile, fighting is reported to have occurred between Qoqani and Afmadow districts of Lower Jubba region, when the al-Qaeda linked militias ambushed a convoy of TFG, Raskamaboni and KDF forces on Thursday.
“The allied forces were heading to their bases near Afmadow, and al-Shabaab attacked them. I can’t tell you the real casualties, but many TFG and Rakamboni soldiers were killed,” Mohamed Osman, a resident in Afmadow told Somalia Report.
Somalia Report tried to contact the TFG spokesman in Lower and Middle Jubba regions, but no comments were available from him.
Al-Shabaab Fighters Surrender to TFG
At least 15 al-Shabaab fighters, including military officers, carrying their weapons have surrendered to TFG forces in Bakol region.
According to Abdifatah Gessey, the TFG have more than 58 al-Shabaab fighters, some of them surrendered and others were seized during military operations.
“We know that all the generations fighting alongside al-Shabaab were misled, so we advise and ask them to lay down their weapons and surrender to the government. Now we have 58 of them some of whom have surrendered,” he told Somalia Report.
The chairman stated that the government and the Ethiopian troops are planning the complete takeover of all districts in Bay and Bakol regions.
Bay, Bakol, Lower Jubba and Gedo regions have been a battle zones over the last few months. The allied forces of Ethiopia, TFG, Raskamboni and KDF have gained more ground in these regions without fighting after the insurgents initially retreated only to increase their guerrilla attacks against allied forces.