Somalia: Insurgents capture strategic town

somaliaA resident in Beledweyn Jama Osman Ali told AfricaNews on phone that Hizbul Islam - one of the rebel groups - attacked the base of the Somali government forces outside of the town.

Muse Abdi Arale, commander of Hizbul Islam said they attacked the main base of the government forces in central Somalia, adding "we recaptured the strategic town of Beledweyn".

Arale accused Ethiopian forces for starting the fight.

Spokesperson of the government Salad Hared denied the rebels’ claims. Calm has returned to the area.

Beledweyn is a strategic town sharing borders with Ethiopia. It has witnessed a number of deadly clashes between insurgents and Somali government troops.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

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