March 21, 2011 Dalkayaga@gmail.com
The latest fighting erupted late Sunday after Somali government forces attacked Al-Shabaab bases in the town and almost all of the dead people were the warring sides.
"I saw dead bodies of Somali government forces and Al-Shabaab militias, the government forces took over the town from Al-Shabaab early in the morning but on the night Al-Shabaab seized back the city and the government troops left the town," witnesses told Garowe Online on Monday.
Incursions by foreign militants have occurred in the volatile border area with security officers having either been killed or injured.
The assailants also commandeered Kenyan vehicles to Somalia and held their victims for ransom.
The common frontier has since been closed and the UN refugee agency has repeatedly being asking the Kenyan government not to stop refugees running away from fighting.
The latest gun and grenade battle was reported in Dobley, some 17 kilometres from the Kenya-Somalia border, according to police and provincial administrators. Witnesses said unknown number of civilians have been killed and injured in the fighting.
On Saturday Al-Shabaab withdrew from Diif town about 120 km from Dobley on the Kenyan-Somali border and Somali government forces with Raaskaambooni a pro-government forces took over the town.
Fighting between the Somali government and Al-Shabaab Islamic militants in the southern towns has driven thousands of Somalis from their homes as well as thousands of residents of the Kenyan border town of Mandera, while a flare-up of conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, has displaced thousands more in the last nine days, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Al-Shabaab military spokesman, Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Muscab claimed that his militias killed dozens of Somali government forces while he was speaking to the press in Mogadishu, the war- torn capital of Somalia.
"Somali government forces backed by Kenyan military troops attacked our bases in Doobley," he said.
Residents in Mandera reported hearing gun shots and grenade explosions on the side of Somalia, but no casualties were reported on the Kenyan side.
Hundreds of Dobley residents started to flee from the town to neighbouring villages for their safety after heavy clashes hit the town early on Sunday.
Somalia generates the highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq. There are an estimated 1.5 million internally displaced persons inside Somalia and more than 680,000 Somalis live as refugees in neighbouring countries, according to UNHCR