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Guriel fighting enters its third day

GURIEL (SD) – Fierce fighting between Somali government forces Ahlusunna Waljamaa fighters, has once again ensued Guriel town of central Somalia amid both sides amassed reinforcement in the town.

Multiple sources confirmed the clashes started in the Eastern part of the town with both sides using heavy and light weapons.

The battle, which could signal growing bad blood between armed groups initially seen as moderate and the government, resulted in the death of more than 40 people including military officials.

Today’s fighting killed a child and several other civilians in different parts of the town.

Last Saturday’s fighting over dozen government soldiers including military officials.

The fighting has displaced over 100,000 residents who have been forced to flee to nearby villages already facing looming drought and water shortages. 

Aid agencies worry about the impact the new displacement will have on the overstretched host communities.

Last Sunday, the fighting lulled after the government accepted a call by Ahlusunna Waljamaa leaders to cart away the bodies of their fighters killed in Saturday fighting.

But sources confirmed the clashes resumed later in the day with some military officials saying the fighting caused heavy casualties on both sides.

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