At least 200 members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group al-Shabab were killed in a day-long battle in Jicibow village, approximately 25 km north of Buulaburte district in Hiiraan region.
The fight began early Sunday morning and ended late Sunday evening. Military officials told the state-owned media that militants were planning to break the road connecting Hiiraan’s capital city of Beledweyne and Buulaburde district, but the forces prevented it.
“The local administration received information that the terrorists had brought small boats on the river bank, and then the army forces, backed by local pro-government militia groups, attacked them on the spot,” according to state-run media.
“The joint forces killed 200 militants in the fighting in the Jicibow village,” the officials said. However, residents said both sides used heavy artillery, mortars and machine guns during a fierce battle.
Locals in the Bulaburde district help the joint force by delivering food supplies such as milk, camel meat, rice, and livestock.
Somalia’s recently elected President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has vowed an all-out war on the jihadis after a string of deadly attacks, including a 30-hour hotel siege in the capital Mogadishu in August that killed 21 people.
Somalia’s armed forces, backed by local militias and international allies, wage an aggressive counteroffensive against the al-Qaida affiliate, killing hundreds of militants during the last operations in Hiiraan and Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.