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Somalia: Militants killed in a gun battle with Govt forces

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Somali National Army troops in a past operation. File Photo: internet

MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least eight militants were killed and several injured in a heavy battle between Somali forces and Al-Shabaab extremist group in the country’s southern region of Lower Juba on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.

A local official, who declined to be named, told Garowe Online by phone that the fighting took place in Jamame town near the port city of Kismayo, where the militants used to orchestrate attacks on Somali forces and their allied foreign troops.

This comes as the combined forces have been recently stepping up joint military operations on al-Qaida affiliated Al-Shabaab to drive the militants out of their remaining pockets in central and southern regions.

The incident is the latest in a series of exchanges between Islamist militants and Somali security forces in the territory which has witnessed an uptick in US drone strikes targeting Al-Shabaab in the past two years.

Last week, the troops liberated Koban village in the same region from Al-Shabaab, the latest military gains against the group that is struggling to oust the UN-backed Somali Government and expel the AU soldiers.

Somali forces killed three Al-Shabaab militants in operation while several high-ranking commanders reportedly surrendered to local authorities in the country's southern region of Gedo early this month.