A tense fighting was reported to be running high in central Somalia after the moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunna has deployed its fighters in Mataban district in Hiraan region, Garowe Online reports.

Sources in the town told GO that residents have began fleeing from their houses in fear of an imminent attack to retake the town by forces from the newly formed Hirshabelle state.

Ahlu Sunna reinforcements from the central Galgadud region poured into the town in large numbers, in preparation for a combat against the advancing Hirshabelle state forces.

Mataban has been under Ahlu Sunna group since 2008.

The regional administrations of Galmudug and Hirshabelle troops in central Somalia are fighting Al Shabaab militant group and Ahlu Sunna who are controlling swathes of land in central Somalia.

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