Somali villagers out to face al-Shabab in deadly clashes
Five people are known to have died in Somalia as villagers have fought back against al-Shabab’s demands for payments and new recruits.
Local vigilantes are trying to evict al-Shabab militants from their village in the Adan Yabal district of the Middle Shabelle region, and claim to have killed at least four of their fighters. The militia commander was also killed.
They had requested military and logistics support from the Somali government but decided to take matters into their own hands.
Fighting between clan militias and the Islamists began over the weekend after al-Shabab ordered locals to make an annual payment known as Zakat, and to hand over their children as recruits.
Al-Shabab controls some parts of south and central Somalia where the government has not been able to penetrate.
This is thought to be one of the first examples of locals in the areas that al-Shabab controls fighting back in spite of the fear of reprisals.
Cover photo: Smoke drifted from burning vehicles following a suicide car bombing close to the presidential palace and a second blast near the security building. Photo: Times of Oman