Deadly clash near Mahaday in Middle Shabelle claims lives of government and Ma’awisley troops. The death toll has resulted from a fight yesterday between the Somali National Army (SNA), supported by the local Ma’awisley militia, and al-Shabaab, an Islamist extremist group with a history of violence in the region.
CiidCiid, Middle Shabelle region, HirShabelle, SOMALIA. By Jama:
The battle unfolded in the remote area of CiidCiid, which the al-Shabaab insurgents recently used as a hideout. The skirmish resulted in the loss of life, including a commander of a Somali National Army (SNA) company, who fell in the line of duty alongside an unspecified number of other soldiers. Equally, several Ma’awisley fighters, collaborating with government forces in their fight against al-Shabaab, also paid the ultimate price.
CiidCiid near Mahaday became an al-Shabaab hideout recently after the Islamist group crossed the Shabelle River from the west bank to the east bank. Upon receiving this information, the government deployed troops to the area to confront the militants. Notably, government-controlled territory in Hiran is predominantly on the east side of the Shabelle River, with the west bank remaining under al-Shabaab’s control.
Al-Shabaab’s attack on Nur Dugle
On 7 September, al-Shabaab launched an attack on another village, Nur Dugle, in Middle Shabelle. The tense situation unfolded approximately 15 kilometres southeast of the Ruun-Nirgood district. Both al-Shabaab and government forces reported the attack but differed on its outcome.
Al-Shabaab claimed it successfully seized control of Nur Dugle following a brief but intense fight with government troops. The Islamists asserted to have inflicted casualties on government forces but refrained from specifying numbers.
“The Mujahideen forces attacked the apostate [al-Shabaab’s pejorative term for the Somali Security Forces] settlement in the [Nur Dugle] area. They are in full control of the area now. The apostate militias have dispersed towards the coast. Their bodies are scattered around the place. The Mujahideen forces also captured soldiers alive in this attack,” declared an al-Shabaab reporter, underlining the group’s claim of dominance.
However, the government troops’ version of events starkly contradicted the al-Shabaab’s narrative. According to a soldier who spoke with the Somali Digest, the troops were well-prepared for the morning assault and successfully defended themselves. The soldier added, “The fighting was limited to one corner of the town, and al-Shabaab never managed to penetrate the city.”