Somalia security forces, residents kill 70 militants in attack, says official

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MOGADISHU, June 17 (Reuters) - Armed residents and local security forces in Somalia's Galmudug state killed 70 Al Shabaab fighters as they repulsed a raid by militants on Bahdo town on Friday, a local official said.

The state broadcaster posted images on Twitter of at least 20 bodies in military fatigues that it said were among the attackers who were slain.

Al Shabaab's Radio Andalus said in a broadcast that the al Qaeda-linked group lost nine fighters and said it's fighters had killed 27 soldiers during a fierce battle after morning prayers.

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Reuters could not independently verify the claims.

"Armed residents and clerics shot dead fighters from every window of every house and from every alley," Ahmed Shire, information minister of Galmudug state, told Reuters.

He said two children and a cleric from the town were killed in the fighting, while four car bombs were defused after the insurgents had fled.

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Reporting by Abdi Sheikh Writing by Hereward Holland Editing by James Macharia Chege and Edmund Blair

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