Somalia: Alshabaab Forces Abandon Positions at Ceelbuur

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Mechanized convoys of the Al-Qaeda aligned fighters of Somalia, Al Shabaab, Monday, left their positions at and around Ceelbuur district of the Galguduud Federal State of Somalia.

Neither the Group nor the governments at federal and regional state commented on the move. Neither was where else the fighters moved to revealed by either level.

What is known for certain is that the fighters moved out of the town early in the morning. Town residents were, according to sources, more frightened by the move than relieved.

Unofficial sources indicate that military forces loyal to the regional state government at Dhuusamareeb and Galkayo, supported by federal forces, have been taking positions not far from Ceelbuur for these past few months.

Area dwellers and transporters have already started moving away from populated villages and towns in the area anticipating armed confrontations between the two sides.

Al Shabaab, eyewitnesses said, have planted landmines at several approaches to the town – an indication that the fighters themselves expected SNA troop movement into the area during which they may attempt to exact casualties in contained positions.

The Islamists held the town since 2017 after Ethiopian troops occupying the area withdrew.

Despite the commendable effort which the AU and the international community have put in rooting out the fighters from the country, Al Shabaab still holds large swathes of Somalia administratively including areas in Mogadishu itself where they openly levy taxes. Failure to pay, ofttimes,  results in costly raids as has been the case with Elite Hotel, in the Lido shore area of Mogadishu.

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