At least four Al-Shabaab militants were killed and five others wounded on Friday evening after locals launched assault against the insurgents at Wabho neighborhood close to Elbur town in Galgudud region in central Somalia.
Somalia intelligence officials and residents said the fighting between armed angry residents and Al-Shabaab militants which was sparked by the militants’ move to collect zakawat (levy) from the locals.
“The residents organized ourselves and decided to fight Al-Shabaab militia because they forcefully took Zakawat (levy) for our livestock and daughters. We could not tolerate more, we killed four of the group members in Wabho wounding five others,” said one of the residents who did not want to be identified.
National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officials in the region said the angry locals lost patience after several incidents from Al-Shabaab militants to collect illegal levies from them.
NISA said it encouraged the move by community members towards defending themselves and from terrorists.
Al-Shabaab militants have been facing a major onslaught from U.S. Special Forces backed by Africa Union peacekeeping troops recently and seem to have lost ground especially in southern Somalia.