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    At least 18 people were killed in a Somalia al Shabaab attack.

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    Residents and a state news agency said on Saturday that Al Shabaab terrorists killed at least 18 civilians and burned trucks carrying relief food in an overnight attack in Somalia’s central region.

    The Islamist organisation conducted the attack in the Hiran district of Hirshabelle, a semi-autonomous territory in central Somalia. According to residents, the trucks were bringing food supplies from Baladweyne to Mahas.

    “Al Shabaab massacred 18 civilians and burned…several relief food trucks on their way to Mahas town last night,” Farah Aden, a local elder, told Reuters by phone.
    According to the state news agency Sonna, al Shabaab fighters burned trucks transporting relief food to Mahas and “killed the majority of the civilians on board the vehicles.”

    The central government of Somalia has been in conflict with the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group for more than ten years. It seeks to impose its own laws based on a literal interpretation of Islamic law known as sharia.

    The gang routinely attacks both military and civilian targets with bombs, gunfire, and other means.

    In an attack last month, al Shabaab rebels attacked the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu, starting a 30-hour battle as government troops tried to break the siege and release captives. More than 20 people were murdered in the attack.

    Aden said armed residents had chased the insurgents from the area last week but said the government had not sent troops to help prevent the fighters from returning.

    “Al Shabaab is doing all of this to force us to submit. But as long as there is soul in us, we will never submit to al Shabaab. Government forces have not yet arrived on the scene “Aden stated.

     

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