Residents of Wabho Clash with Al-Shabaab Militants Over Zakat Collection
ELBUUR Somalia, March 14, 2016
Four Al-Shabaab militants were killed and five others wounded after locals launched assaults on them at Wabho neighborhood, near Elbuur town in Galgudud region of central Somalia.
Reports from Somalia intelligence officials indicate that the two warring sides clashed after Al-Shabaab militants demanded Zakat (levy on wealth) from the locals.
Corresponding reports from the residents indicate that they decided to fight the Al-Shabaab militants saying they are fed up with the militants threatening them and forcefully collecting Zakat from their livestock.
According to National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officials in the region, angry Wabho residents lost patience after several incidents from Al-Shabaab militants collecting illegal levies from them.
NISA encouraged the move by community members towards defending themselves and from terrorists and called on them to collaborate with security forces in volunteering with information in order to defeat the common enemy.
The Al Qaeda affiliated branch in Somalia has in the past few weeks faced a major onslaught from U.S. Special Forces backed by Africa Union peacekeeping troops (AMISOM).
The Islamists have lost ground especially in southern Somalia and over 200 fighters among them high value figures.