GOOBJOOG NEWS|GURIEL: Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a fighters have withdrawn from Guriel town in Galgadud region following four days long fighting with government forces that claimed tens of lives and displaced thousands more people.
The withdrawal follows talks with Galmudug state government but the nature of the deal reached was not immediately clear. The talks were facilitated by local businessmen and politicians in the region according to sources privy to the process.
Sources indicate that the group surrendered and vacated the Gowd-Wiil area on the north-east of the town of Guriel leaving their strongholds in the northern part of the city within the university area.
Sources in the town further noted the group left behind two military vehicles belonging to government forces which were captured during last month’s clashes in Bohol. Government forces have now taken full control of the town which has become a battlefield in the last one week.
The Ahlu Sunna group released a statement Tuesday saying it welcomed the calls for peace from all quarters and also said it recognizes the existence of the Galmudug State.
However, the group faulted AMISOM for the destruction of hospitals and aid centers run by the Somali federal government during the fighting, an allegation not yet responded to by AMISOM.
Galmudug president Ahmed Qoorqoor said Tuesday some individuals from within the state and ‘foreigners’ were backing Ahlu Sunna and threatened to out them. He also said an inter-ministerial committee would mobilise aid support for the displaced.