Mogadishu, Asharq Al-Awsat- Heavy fighting broke out between the Somali government forces and Islamists insurgents yesterday, resulting in the rebel group recapturing the town of Beledweyn in Hiran region, some 206 miles (332Km) north of Mogadishu.
Elsewhere, clashes also broke out between a group of pirates holding the British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler and local militias near the town of “Bahado” in central Somalia where the pirates had moved the hostages.
The local population asked the pirates to leave the area but they refused and tribal militias angered by the detention of hostages in their town attacked the pirates. A resident of “Bahado” said “we do not allow our area to be used for holding hostages and kidnapped persons or become a stronghold for the pirates. We forced them to leave our area and they took the two hostages with them.”
The pirates holding the British couple moved them from the Harardera (450 km northeast of Mogadishu) to the Bahado area which lies 125 km from Harardera after a sharp disagreement broke out among the pirates about what they should do about the British couple’s fate as to whether to release them in return for a ransom or exchange them for colleagues detained in several European countries.