Heavy fighting erupts as Al Shabaab clash with Islamic State in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Heavy fighting broke out between Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab and Islamic State fighters earlier on Monday in north of Bosaso town.

The fighting flared up when armed Al Shabaab militants launched ambush attack on Islamic State targets in Mirale area, some 70km north of Bosaso, a resident told VOA based in Washington.

He says the fighting lasted for an hour as heavy weaponries could be heard through Mirale.

It is unclear how many were killed in the latest fighting.

The fighting comes after Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants gunned down a pro-Islamic State commander earlier this month in the southern Somali town of Bu’ale town in the rebel-held Middle Jubba region.

Yahya Haji Fiile, known as Abu Zakariye, was killed in the district after Shabaab intelligence linked him to the ISIL in Somalia.

He was former top Al-Shabaab commander, initially fell out with the jihadist group in 2016 after it killed Bashir Abu Numan.

Last year, Islamic State has declared on al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group in Somalia, after fighting outside Bosaso town.

In a statement released by Islamic State provide visual evidence of its fight with Al Shabaab on December 16th.

It was the first time the Islamic state has openly and publicly announced that it is responsible for an attack on Al Shabaab.

The Islamic State group claimed to have killed 14 members of Al Shabaab during the clash.

There has been tension between Al Shabaab and Islamic State fighters in Bari, Juba and Banadir regions of Somalia.