Thursday September 29, 2022
Beledweyne (HOL) - A traditional elder was killed in the Hiiraan region on Thursday during intense fighting between government forces and Al Shabaab.According to reports, Al Shabaab fighters launched a dawn raid on a base recently captured by government forces.
Elmi Hagar Gure, a well-known Hawadle clan elder from Beledweyne, was killed near the El Qohle village 40km east of Muqakoori district, Hiiraan.
Gure was part of a locally-organized militia known as Macawisley, fighting alongside government troops against Al Shabaab.
Somali PM Hamza Abdi Barre sent his condolences to Elmi Gure's family, eulogizing him as a leader and martyr.
"I mourn the righteous death of Nabadon Ilmi Hagar Gure, who was killed today in a battle on the front lines of the war in the El Qohle area. I pray God to showers the martyed Elmi with blessings," Barre said in a statement on his Facebook page.
In recent weeks, a successful SNA offensive pushed the militant insurgency group out of several of its former strongholds, which it had held for over a decade.
The attack on Thursday was the group's first significant counter-offensive. According to Al Shabaab-affiliated media, up to 20 soldiers were killed in the attack. While this cannot be independently verified, the group has a history of exaggerating casualty figures for propaganda purposes.
In less than three weeks, the Somali army said it liberated 40 rural settlements in Hiiraan.
Gure is the third clan elder from Hiiraan to be killed in September. Hussein Hayow and Nur Garad Seefle were shot dead by suspected Al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu.