GOOBJOOG NEWS|GURIEL: At least 30 people, the majority of them soldiers and military officials, were killed while close to 50 others were injured as government forces dislodged the Ahlu Sunna group in Guriel, central Somalia on Saturday.
Government officials confirmed that the casualties originated from both sides with one of those killed in the day-long battle being a US-trained elite force commander Abdilatif Ahmed Ulusow aka Feyfle who is Danab commander in charge of Galmudug state. Abdiladif was one of the original members of ASWJ but later renounced the group and joined the government forces.
Galmudug state information minister Ahmed Shire Falagle confirmed casualties in the fighting. “I can confirm that three of our soldiers were killed and more than 10 injured during the fighting. I also know that a significant number of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a militia were killed, although I cannot give the exact number.”
Among SNA officials injured in yesterday’s fighting include the commander of Hara’amad forces in Galmudug and commander of the 5th Gorgor Commandos General Mohamed Dhagaweyne.
Reports indicate that the Ahlu Sunna forces are still present in the northern part of the city, including Tullo Gaban, El Abshir, El Ali Farah to the University, northeast of Guriel district.
The town of Guriel is still largely vacated by residents as cases of artillery shells hitting commercial areas and health centers, including the burnt area of Istarlin Hospital, the district’s general hospital have been reported.