At least seven people were killed in a town north of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Thursday after al Shabaab fighters’ attack, a police officer and residents said.
According to Police and residents accounts in Balad, 30km north of Mogadishu, the al Qaeda-linked group’s fighters attacked and overran government forces guarding a bridge at the town’s entrance early in the morning.
Al Shabaab which aims to overthrow the government and impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law carries out frequent gun and bomb attacks on security and government targets, civilians and peacekeeping troops.
Police captain Farah Ali said the fighters stayed briefly in the town after the attack but then left.
“Al Shabaab did not come to our station but captured the entire town in the fighting and left without patrolling,” he said.
“I understand there are about eight people dead including soldiers”, he confirmed.