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Al-Shabaab recaptures region seized by gov't forces in central Somalia

MOGADISHU, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Islamist militant group, Al-Shabaab recaptured Runir-god location, 180 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu on Sunday amid heavy fightings with Somali forces.

Runir-god which is located in Middle Shabelle region, central Somalia was seized by government forces on Saturday.

Residents of the region said the militants launched an offensive against the government forces on Sunday, inflicting heavy casualties on the government forces.

Al-Shabaab militants who claimed victory said the group killed 32 government soldiers including officials and recaptured the town and seized three armed vehicles during the battle.

Gen. Mohamed Mohamud Saney, the Army Commander of division 12th in the region, dismissed Al-Shabaab claims, saying it's exaggerated.

Saney however confirmed eight government soldiers lost their lives during the heavy fighting.

He also confirmed that 12 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed during the fighting.

The army commander called for more collaboration from the African Union peacekeeping troops in the region to remove the insurgents from their positions, vowing to flush out the militants from the area recaptured by Al-Shabaab.

Lower and Middle Shabelle region still remain as the main stronghold of Al-Shabaab after it was expelled from other regions in security operations.


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