Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces have pushed back opposition fighters and retaken the strategic town of Beledweyne in the central Hiran region.
Government soldiers battled their way into insurgents’ strongholds on the western portion of the town during an attack and assumed full control of Beledweyne after driving Hizbul Islam militants out of the town.
General Mukhtar Hussein Afrah, the Commander of Government Forces in the Hiran region, stated that his army’s victory was just the first one in a string of planned operations against the hardline opposition fighters.
“We entered the town from different fronts and met no resistance form the anti-peace elements,” said General Afrah. “We are going to follow them, not only in the other districts of Hiran region but also in all the other places the evil militias are situated.”
Beledweyne is considered strategic since it connects the central regions of Somalia to the capital city of Mogadishu where the al-Shabaab and the Hizbul Islam militants are bent on overthrowing President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed’s government.
Beledweyne has been split for the past several months as government and pro-government forces are based in the eastern part of the city while the Hizbul Islam insurgents are based in the west.
The Horn of Africa nation, Somalia, has been mired in anarchy since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another.