Rival militia clash in central Somalia, leaving 20 dead

Sunday July 23 2017

Fighters allied to Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a Sufi militia, taking rest under a tree in Herale. PHOTO | ABDULKADIR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP


At least 20 people are reported to have been killed in a two-day fierce gun-battle between Galmudug forces and Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a Sufi militia, in central Somalia.

More than 40 others are said to have been injured as the two sides fight for control of Herale town in the Galgadud region.

Local media reported relative calm in the area on Saturday after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called for immediate ceasefire Friday.

“An ugly war has taken place at Herale over the last several days,” said President Farmajo.
“It is intolerable and must be stopped immediately,” he added.
Tensions, however, remain high as the two sides are said to have been sending fighters into Herale.

According to reports, residents began fleeing the town last week. President Farmajo said he will dispatch a fact-finding mission into the area.
Herale is located about 600km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The Ahlu Sunna controls large parts of Galgadud, an administrative region in Galmudug State.
The Sufi militia does not recognise the Federal government-backed Galmudug administration and peace talks to resolve the dispute collapsed in April in Mogadishu.