Somali forces kill Al-Shabaab militants in southern region

Several Al-Shabaab militants were killed on Tuesday in heavy fighting between Somali National Army and the militant group near Baidoa town, southwest Somalia, officials said.

Security Minister of Southwest State in Somalia Hassan Hussein Mohamed told Xinhua by phone that the militants’ attempt to capture two areas was thwarted.

“The terrorists attacked SNA and Southwest State forces’ bases in Daynuney and Gof-gudud, north and east of Baidoa town, but their attempt to capture the two areas were foiled,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed said several militants were killed and others wounded during the early morning fighting.

“There are no casualties on our side and we remain at our bases while continuing operations against terrorists in the region now,” Mohamed added.

Other sources said at least five militants were killed in the attack on Daynuney, while one government soldier was injured in Gof-gudud.

Both bases locate in the Bay region of Somalia. Residents also confirmed the militants launched simultaneous attacks on the two regional military bases.

Residents said the militants briefly seized Gof-gudud Burey before regional forces retook it, noting that troops at Daynuney held their positions, repulsing attack.

Al-Shabaab militants claimed to have captured Daynuney location, about 25 km east of Baidoa town, and Gof-gudud location, about 30 km north of Baidoa.

Some residents in Baidoa told Xinhua the militants briefly captured the two locations and later looted materials and medicines at a police station and a hospital in Gof-gudud.

The latest assault by security forces came amid increased attacks by the Al-Qaida-allied militant group, which is targeting government and African Union bases in Somalia.