At least 10 people were killed and more than 25 others, mostly civilians, injured after a fierce fighting broke out in Beledweyne town, the capital of Hiiraan region in central Somalia on Sunday, locals and medical officials said.
Residents said the fighting broke out between two heavily armed clan militias who were using machine guns and artillery weapons at Hawl-wadag neigbourhood in the center of the town.
Director of general hospital in Beledweyne Ahmed Mohamud Khalif told reporters the facility has received 29 casualties who had sustained several injuries in the ongoing clashes in the Hiiran region.
“We are extending emergency health care to wounded people who have been hospitalized here. We received 29 victims of the attacks, five of them suffered severe injuries,” Khalif said.
Tribal chief Ugas Adirahman Ugas Khalif who was greatly respected in that region condemned the bloodshed called elders of two warring sides to resolve their differences amicably.
“This is aimless fighting, bloodshed in Galkayo recently and today in Beledweyne. It is unfortunate this time after being in the civil war for over 25 years. I am calling for peace and I say concerned elders should dialogue and stop the bloodshed now,” Khalif said.
The African Union peacekeeping force especially the Djiboutian contingent tried to intervene to end the conflict, but reportedly lost one soldier in their attempt to calm the situation.
Businesses and schools have been disrupted as a result of the fighting. The fighting was still continuing and comes two days after two soldiers were killed in the same area where clashes started.