Somali Special Forces called Danab on Sunday killed 13 al-Shabab militants during a fierce gun battle in the southern region of Lower Shabelle, an official told reporters.
Ahmed Hassan, spokesman of Somali Special Forces, said that the militants launched an attack on a base used by the government army in El-Salini village in Lower Shabelle region.
“The militants ambushed the base at dawn and attempted to capture it but our army held them back and defeated them, killed 13 of them and pursued the rest who ran into the forest,” said Hassan.
“There were casualties sustained on both sides, but the militants suffered the worst, we lost some soldiers and three others got wounded during the gun battle,” he added.
Local residents said they witnessed the gun battle between Special Forces and al-Shabab militants, which they described as vicious.
“A government base was attacked by the militants this morning and there was an exchange of fire that led to casualties on both sides, we have seen many bodies and burnt vehicles,” Isma’il Kulane, a resident, told Xinhua over phone.
The al-Qaida linked terrorist network, al-Shabab, also claimed victory from Sunday dawn’s fight, saying they killed 20 soldiers and seized five battle vehicles from the government army. The group also said it briefly captured the base before the reinforcements arrived.
Southern regions of Somalia became the battle ground of government forces and al-Shabab after the militants were chased out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by African Union forces and the Somali army.