Heavy fighting erupted between Somali government forces, supported by local clan militia, and al Shabab militants in the Bardhere area, 22 km south of Beledweyne in the Hiiraan region.
The fighting follows the resumption of joint anti-al Shabab operations in Southern Beledweyne, especially in the Tabantab and Mohamed Hassan villages.
The self declared president of the Hiiraan State administration, Ali Jeyte Osman, two members of the Lower House of the Parliament, Mohamed Abduqadir Mohamed and Mohamed Abdullahi Buralle, and the commander of the 5th battalion of the 27th division of the Somali army, Mohamud Hassan Ibrahim Baakay, were leading the troops engaged in the operations in Southern Beledweyne.
The number of casualties remains unknown, and local officials have refrained from commenting on the situation. However, reports from the area indicate that heavy artillery and gunfire were heard throughout the night.
The clashes in Southern Beledweyne come shortly after another confrontation between al Shabab militants and government forces, supported by local forces, erupted in the Bera Yabal area, part of the Buulaburte district in the Hiiraan region on Friday night.
Al Shabab remains a significant threat to the stability and security of Somalia, carrying out frequent attacks on civilians and government forces.
The group has been responsible for numerous bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in recent years, targeting both government officials and civilians.
The resumption of joint anti-al Shabab operations in Southern Beledweyne reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the threat of terrorism in the country.
However, the heavy fighting and ongoing violence highlight the significant challenges faced by the government and international community in combating terrorism and promoting peace and stability in Somalia.