70 elders kidnapped by Al-Shabaab in central Somalia

KISMAYO (Caasimada Online) – The Al Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab group has been accused of kidnapping 70 traditional elders earlier on Tuesday in central Somalia.

Speaking at Council of Interstate meeting in Kismayo, Galmudug State President, Ahmed Ducalle Gelle accused Al Shabaab of carrying out the abduction.

President Gelle said the abductees were taken into rebel held town of Elbur.

Meanwhile, he also accused Somali government of trying to destabilize the regional state administrations, instead of eradicating Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group.

“It is unfortunate that the Somali government is not responsible for the security of the country, while Al Shabaab continue targeting civilians”, he said.

It remains unknown why the elders were kidnapped by Al Shabaab.

There was no comment from the group over the allegation.

The Al-Shabab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia for more than 10 years.

A 22,000-strong African Union force is in the country to help the government in fighting against the al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The group has been driven out of many urban areas since 2011, however, it still controls territory in rural areas and carries out gun attacks and bombings on military and civilian targets.

Caasimada Online

Kismaayo News Desk