At least 13 al Shabaab militants were killed by Somali National Army troops backing local villages after the armed terrorists tried to impose taxes on the residents of Halfoley in Jalalaqsi, Hiiraan region.
The al Shabaab fighters clashed with the herders and SNA troops in a gunfight that lasted at least five hours when the villagers refused to heed an earlier order to hand over some livestock as part of Zakat payment.
Somali government officials in the region said other units of the Somali national army had moved into other villages in the region to prevent militants from re-organizing and counter-attacking pastoralists.
Clashes involving pastoralists resisting al-Shabab taxes began in Somalia’s Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions in 2013. In recent months the financial capability of the al Shabaab has become very challenging due to the recent arrests of financiers and sympathizers by police and troops in Somalia and neighboring countries.