The Somali National Army (SNA) killed at least 20 al-Shabab militants in a fierce fighting in Somali’s southern village of Muse Haji on Tuesday evening, army officials said Wednesday.
The fighting broke out when al-Shabab militants attempted to launch an ambush on military base in Muse Haji village in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia.
“They (al-Shabab) have tried to attack our base but we have managed to bush them back and killed 20 of them,” SNA Commander for the 43rd Sector, Ismail Sheikh Isaq, said.
The commander added that the forces initially fired on a speedy car killing the suicide bomber and then engaged a gun battle with the fighters and later subdued them.
Residents in nearby villages told Xinhua that they heard blasts followed by huge gunfire at the military base .
“The fighting lasted for hours and both sides have exchanged huge gunfire but now the government forces are in full control of the area,” a resident, Ahmed Nur, told Xinhua.
The militant group is yet to comment on the latest assault by SNA which comes amid increased military operations in southern Somalia particularly Lower Shabelle region which remains one of the strongholds of the group.