, MOGADISHU, May 3 – Clashes between pro-government forces and Shebab rebels for control of a town in southwest Somalia claimed 26 lives, sources said Tuesday.
Fighting broke out late Monday in in Garbaharey, a town in the Gedo region bordering on Ethiopia and Kenya.
The Shebab had pulled out of the town last Thursday as pro-government forces advanced on it.
"The terrorists attacked Garbaharey last night (Monday) and they lost in the battle. Their corpses are filling the streets of the town and its outskirts," Colonel Mohamed Adan, a security official with the transitional government told AFP by telephone.
"Government troops and their allies are in control of the whole zone," he said.
"So far we\’ve counted 26 corpses and I think there are others in the more outlying districts. The fighting is the worst we\’ve ever seen in this area," a local official Hussein Abdulle told AFP.
"The number of victims is getting close to 30 and most of them are fighters. The situation is calm this morning (Tuesday), and government forces are in control of the town," Ahmed Muhidin, a resident of Garbaharey said.