Nineteen killed in fighting between army and al-Shabaab in Somalia

At least 19 people were killed Tuesday in fierce fighting between Somali and African Union forces and al-Shabaab militants, officials and witnesses said.

The allied troops launched a counter-attack against the radical Islamist group which had captured the town of Afgoye, 30 kilometres south-west of the capital Mogadishu, according to security officials.

A police station had earlier been targeted by a suicide car bomber, followed by militants who fought their way into the town’s neighbourhoods from different directions.

The insurgents deployed rocket launchers, mortars and heavy machine guns, said Ibrahim Najah, governor of Lower Shebelle province.

The fatalities included seven soldiers, eight militants and four civilians, according to local police officer Abdi Barre. Witnesses reported seeing bodies scattered on the streets.

“Fighting was under way until this evening to push insurgents out of parts of town they are still holding,” senior security official Mohamed Hassan said, adding that reinforcements were on their way to Afgoye.

Al-Shabaab said on pro-insurgent radio Andalus that it had captured the town and killed many people.

Last update: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 00:03

View the discussion thread.

More from World

Spokesman: Taliban has been using drone technology for 18 months

The Taliban has been using drone technology to plan offensives for a period of 18 months, a spokesman said Saturday...

Toll in Cameroon train derailment rises; some reports as high as 70

Fifty-five people are dead and 600 injured after a passenger train derailment in Cameroon, Radio France...

Iraqi forces push into Islamic State-held Christian town near Mosul

Iraqi troops on Saturday mounted a major attack to recapture a mostly Christian town near the key city of Mosul from...

Trump to lay out plan for first 100 days in Gettysburg speech

US Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump is due to lay out his vision for his presidency Saturday, in...

Clinton has tens of millions more to spend in final weeks of election

Democrat Hillary Clinton has tens of millions more dollars to spend in the final weeks of the US election than...