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Report: Somalia

Six dead, hundreds flee as Somali army fights to recapture Guriel

President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Wikimedia Commons

In Somalia at least six people were killed on Thursday, as the army attempted to recapture a central town seized by armed Sufi fighters two days ago. Fighting raged in the town of Guriel for five hours on Thursday, causing hundreds of families to flee.

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According to Ismail Mohamed, a nurse at the town’s medical facility that is treating those affected, most of the six dead men were from the warring parties while five civilians were wounded.

Al-Shebab - who are they?

Members of a Sufi sect took control of the town on Tuesday after clashes with Somali government forces that left at least 12 people dead and 30 injured.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has urged negotiations to end the violence.

Ahlu Sunnah Waljamaah is a Sufi sect that formerly struck a deal with the Somali government after defeating al-Shebab militants in battles for control of the region.

Guriel has witnessed a wave of retaliatory attacks which has seen the town change hands numerous times in recent days.

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