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Somalia’s Hirshabelle state administration on Monday night arrested 17 traders for allegedly meeting with Alshabaab leaders, Radio Dalsan reports.
A resident in Jowhar told Radio Dalsan on condition of anonymity that the traders met with the militants at Gamboole village, 50 kilometres west of Jowhar, the administrative capital of Hirshabelle.
They were arrested at Jowhar town entry Police checkpoint on their way back.
Reports say that the traders went to Gamboole on orders from Alshabaab and that some of them have notified the local administration of the same.
Issues discussed in the meeting remains unclear.
Hirshabelle authorities have not commented on the case.
Last week, Hirshabelle administration in Hiraan region issued a stern warning that action will be taken against anyone found to have sought redress in Alshabaab courts or even travelled to the militant-controlled areas.
Alshabaab controls some parts of Hirshabelle state.