MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali government has today said that nearly 100 fighters were captured in the fighting between federal government troops and Jubbaland forces which started in the wee hours of Monday morning in Belet-hawo town near Somalia-Kenya border..
In a statement, Somali information minister Osman Abukar Dubbe said government forces crushed “rebels armed by Kenya” who attacked the town.
“Nearly 100 prisoners (of war) have been captured in the fighting, and the militiamen have been defeated. The militiamen captured during the fighting are being held by Somali government forces in safe place,” Information minister said in the statement.
Pictures and videos circulating on social media show images allegedly said to be Janan forces under captivity of federal forces.
Children killed in motor shell attack
The fighting which lasted for more than six hours in the town claimed lives of more than 20 people including civilians, according to the medics in Belet-Hawo.
Dr. Mohamed Gomey who is based in the town confirmed that five children from the same family were killed after a motor shell landed in their house in Belet-Hawo town.
“The children died in motor shell attack, their mother also sustained serious injuries. The motor shells landed in several other houses and caused injuries. Currently, more than 30 people mostly civilians are undergoing treatment in Beled-Hawo hospital,” Dr. Gomey said.
Belet-Hawo deputy police commissioner Mohamed Abdi Nur and two of his bodyguards were also killed in the fighting.
The town is currently under the control of Somali government forces.
Kenya writes to AU over Belet-Hawa fight
Kenya government on Sunday wrote letter to African Union over the renewed war in Beled-Hawo saying the fighting increasingly generates large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya.
“Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generates large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya,” said a statement from Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Kenya is concerned that if the fighting continues unabated, the situation could further destabilise the region, complicate the security situation and reverse gains made in the fight against terrorism.”
On Monday morning, the Federal Government said the Jubbaland forces commanded by fugitive security minister Abdirashid Janan were mobilized and supported by the Kenyan government.
“A Kenyan backed group has attacked Gedo region specially Beled-Hawo but Somali National Army repelled the foreign organised invasion,” Information ministry in a statement.
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