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Somali gov’t forces wrest Guriel

GURIEL (SD) – Heavily armed Galmudug forces backed Somali national army (SNA) have today recaptured Guriel, a town in central Somalia following fierce fighting with forces of moderate Islamist group, Ahlusunna Waljamaa.

Sources in the central Somalia town said the allied forces had managed to take control of strategic parts of the town however still going on in the eastern part of the town.

According to Radio Mogadishu, Guriel Governor Anas Abdi Maalim confirmed that Galmudug regional troops had retaken control of most of the town with minimal resistance.

Government forces captured the town just a day after the leader of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, Sheikh Mohamed Shakir, warned the government against attacking his group in Guriel.

Shakir said that he was eager to resolve their differences through dialogue and welcomed peace talks, adding that his troops were there to fight Al-Shabaab.

“We are the ones who have been leading the country’s security forces in the fight against terrorism. We want them to support us in the security of Galmudug,” said Sheikh Shakir, the leader of Ahlu Sunna.

In early October, the two groups clashed in Bohol village, 20 km north of Dhusamareb, which led to nearly a dozen dead on both sides.

The UN said on Thursday over 100,000 people had since been displaced in Guriel as a result of the military buildups.

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