Twenty-one Al-Shabab militants, three Somali soldiers killed in clashes

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More than 20 Al-Shabab militants and a number of Somali soldiers died in clashes over the weekend, military sources confirmed on Monday.

The militant group stormed an army barracks Sunday evening in the central Galmudug region, killing three soldiers, including a commander, and wounding three other military personnel. The army retaliated and left 21 members of the Al-Qaeda-linked group dead.

The militants briefly declared control over the town where the military barracks are based, before later retreating, according to online platforms affiliated to Al-Shabab.

The recent violent attacks come as the government prepares to complete elections in the unstable Horn of Africa nation.

The clashes took place close to electoral districts, which observers say may pose a major challenge to the electoral process with fears of possible militant attacks.

Somalia’s elections have been hamstrung by delays for several months, but analysts say the election impasse has distracted from Somalia’s larger problems, most notably the violent Al-Shabab insurgency.

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