MOGADISHU (Halbeeg News) – Somali government will provide military support to self-organised militias known as “Ma’awisley” to fight Al-Shabaab fighters in Middle Shabelle region, a military official confirmed on Wednesday.
Over seven people from both sides have been killed in intermittent deadly clashes between Al-Shabab fighters and local militias in several villages since Sunday.
Among those killed in the clashes is the leader of the local militias, who was identified as Hibad Ali Dasar.
Speaking to the media, Somali National Army (SNA) chief, Dahir Adan Elmi said Somali military will support the militias in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
“We are ready to provide military support to the locals who voluntarily decided to liberate their villages from Al-Shabaab. We will join our efforts to dismantle Al-Shabaab in this region,” Mr. Elmi said.
The development comes a day after fierce fighting broke out between Al-Shabaab and clan militias in Hirshabelle state.
The fighting between Al-Shabaab and the local militias was triggered by alleged Al-Shabaab conscription of teenagers into their ranks.
According to residents, the clashes sparked on Sunday when self-organized clan militias in Middle Shabelle region turned down Al-Shabaab’s order to bring their children.