Al-Shabaab seizes hospital in central Somalia, admit injured fighters
ELBUR, Somalia - Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants have reportedly seized a hospital in Central Somalia, where they are said to have admitted dozens of fighters who were critically injured when the militants were ambushed by locals in Bahdo town in Galmadug.
The militants, state media reported, stormed El-Bur District Hospital in Galmadug, discharging all patients who were undergoing treatment in the facility as shocked locals watched the incident unfold on Sunday evening, with authorities left with little options.
State media further reported that those affected included malnourished children and pregnant women, who were undergoing treatment in the facility. The Al-Shabaab targets public facilities whenever the team is overwhelmed with casualties according to reports.
After the eviction of the patients, reports further show, that the militants hospitalized 80 terrorists who had been wounded in Friday’s Bahdo fighting. The militants suffered heavy casualties when residents of Bahdo ganged up against them, leading to a historic battle in the state.
"Al-Shabab forcibly takes control of a Hospital in Elbur, central Somalia to treat dozens of fighters injured in Bahdo battle on Friday. The locals said the group brought the bodies of 37 militants killed in the foiled attack that dealt a heavy blow to Al-Shabab, " state media noted.
During Friday's attack, locals reported killing over 100 militants after the ambush as a number of them escaped to nearby thickets for survival. The locals said no military teams were available when the incident took place, although they would join the fight later on.
The Al-Shabaab said it had only lost nine fighters, adding that it managed to kill 27 civilians, a claim which was disputed by the locals. This is the fight time the militants were making serious admission about losing fighters in a war, as Somalia struggles to stabilize.
Al-Shabaab still controls huge swathes of rural central and southern Somalia and has been struggling to take over the country. The new government under Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has pledged to down the militants in partnership with allied troops across the country.