15 people were killed in two attacks by the Al-Shabaab movement in central Somalia

Al-Shabaab militants detonated two car bombs today, Wednesday, in Somalia, killing at least 15 people and razing several houses in the Hiran region, in the center of the country.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency against the Somali government since 2007. Government forces and allied clan militias drove the group’s fighters out of Hiran last year, but continued their attacks .

“We woke up this morning to the sound of two big explosions,” said Ahmed Nour, a local sheikh. He added: “We saw many houses razed to the ground. At least ten people were killed, including civilians, soldiers and fighters affiliated with clan militias.”

Moamen Muhammad Halan, commissioner of the Mahas region, told official radio that one bomb hit his house and another hit the house of a federal deputy.

For its part, the Al-Shabaab press office has vindicated in a communiqué blamed the movement for the two attacks, saying that they were aimed at “apostate militias and soldiers”.

Al-Shabaab rebels have been under pressure since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud launched a military offensive shortly after taking office in August. Government forces and clan forces received support from US and African Union forces.

The government says it has killed hundreds of al Shabaab fighters and retaken control of dozens of communities.

For its part, Al-Shabaab has carried out repeated attacks in recent months, including attacks on government facilities and hotels in the capital, Mogadishu.

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