At least 19 militants were killed in fierce fighting between Al-Shabaab fighters and president Mohamed Hassan Fiqi backed loyalists of the former group’s leader Mukhtar Robow in Somalia’s southwestern region of Bakool.
Al-Shabaab militants stormed the Abal village, located southwest to capital Mogadishu and forced Robow’s loyalists to retreat from Abal village. But they later returned to beat back their attackers in a midday counter offensive.
SouthWest state (which encompasses the Bakool region) acting president Mohamed Hassan Fiqi said that the fighting which continued all through Wednesday in the Bakool region, killed 13 Al-Shabaab and six Abu Mansoor militants.
“Forces loyal to Muktar Robow pushed the Al-Shabaab fighters out after several hours of fighting. Many people were killed,” Fiqi said on Thursday.
Abdirasak Abdi, the state deputy security minister confirmed that his administration is backing the Abu Mansoor group, a move it has taken to defeat the Al-Shabaab group, which aims to establish Sharia rule in the region, Anadolu news reported.
Abu Mansoor, a top leader of the Al-Shabaab group, deserted it in 2013 and the U.S. removed his name from the list of wanted terrorists.