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Central Somalia fighting toll rises to 64

alshabaab-7MOGADISHU (AFP) — The number of fighters killed in two days of fierce clashes between pro-government militiamen and hardline Islamist insurgents has risen to 64, elders and witnesses told AFP Saturday.

“We sent teams to collect the dead bodies in the battle zones and they found 28 more combatants who were killed in Friday’s clashes,” Moalim Mohamoud Adan, an elder in the town of Guriel, told AFP.

Adan and other local elders had already reported that 36 fighters were confirmed dead late Friday, bringing the overall death toll to at least 64 and dozens of wounded.

The fighting broke out Friday in Wahbo village, near the Ethiopian border, when the Shebab and allied fighters from the Hezb al-Islamiya group tried to recapture the area from pro-government group Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa.



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