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Galmudug security forces enter Guriel

Saturday October 23, 2021

Guriel town. FILE PHOTO

Mogadishu (HOL) - Galmudug security forces have reportedly entered Guriel town on Friday, ousting Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a (ASWJ) fighters from the area. ASWJ took over the town - along with Mataban - following a short gun battle against government forces earlier this month.

According to Radio Mogadishu, Guriel Governor Anas Abdi Maalim confirmed that Galmudug regional troops had retaken control of most of the town with minimal resistance.

HOL also spoke with local residents who confirmed the presence of government security forces in the town.

Government forces captured the town just a day after the leader of Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a, Sheikh Mohamed Shakir, warned the government against attacking his group in Guriel.

Somalia's army accused the ASWJ of planning to attack its troops, which the Sufi militia denied.

In early October, the two groups clashed in Bohol village, 20 km north of Dhusamareb, which led to nearly a dozen dead on both sides.

Shakir said that he was eager to resolve their differences through dialogue and welcomed peace talks, adding that his troops were there to fight Al-Shabaab.

"We are the ones who have been leading the country's security forces in the fight against terrorism. We want them to support us in the security of Galmudug," said Sheikh Shakir, the leader of Ahlu Sunna.

According to the latest assessment by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, over 100,000 people have been displaced around Guriel. OCHA said the area was already under pressure from looming drought and water shortage.


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