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Gun-battle between militia in central Somalia leaves at least 20 dead

A two-day fierce gun-battle between rival militia groups in central Somalia is reported to have left at least 20 people dead and 40 others injured.

The Galmudug forces and Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamea, a Sufi militia are said to be fighting for the control of Herale town in Galgadud region, about 600km north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

According to local media, there was relative calm in the area on Saturday after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called for immediate ceasefire Friday.

“An ugly war has taken place at Herale over the last several days,” said President Farmajo,” It is intolerable and must be stopped immediately.”

He promised to dispatch a fact-finding mission into the area.

The Africa Review reports that there remain high tensions as the two sides are said to have been sending fighters into Herale.

Residents began fleeing the town last week, reports indicate.

The Ahlu Sunna controls large parts of Galgadud, an administrative region in Galmudug State and they do not recognise the Federal government-backed Galmudug administration.

Peace talks to resolve the dispute collapsed in April in Mogadishu.

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