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Troops of the transitional federal government of Somalia killed 18 Al Shabaab extremist fighters during fierce clashes in parts of Mogadishu, an official said Wednesday.
Dhame Abdulkadir, a government military officer in Mogadishu’s Hodan district, told reporters in the capital that Al Shabaab launched hit and run attacks on military bases in the city three times. He said government forces inflicted severe losses on the insurgents and confiscated many assault rifles from them.
Local residents said the clashes erupted Tuesday night in different areas of Mogadishu after Al Shabaab attacked government and AMISOM bases. Most of the confrontations reportedly took place in the districts of Abdul Azeez, Bondhere, Hodan and Howlwadag in northern and southern Mogadishu.
“We penetrated into several positions by Al Shabaab militants. I don’t know where that had run away. But if they try to attack us again we are ready here to repulse them and that is what we can do,” Abdulkadir was quoted as saying. The sound of gun fire could be heard near him as he spoke.
No statements from Al Shabaab were immediately available in response to the government’s claim.
Local inhabitants report that areas experiencing the overnight conflict are now quiet.
At least 10 civilians have been killed and more than 25 others hurt in the last 24 hours, according to Mogadishu health officials.
Local hospitals are reported to have been overwhelmed by wounded, included women and children.