Somalia's military kills at least 7 Al-Shabaab militants
MOGADISHU - Somali national forces backed by the Jubaland state army on Wednesday killed seven al-Shabab extremists and injured eight others in an operation in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia, an official said on Thursday.
Shirwa Omar Barush, a senior officer in the Somali National Army who was one of the commanders leading the operation told journalists that the joint operation was conducted in areas bordering Jamame town.
"We started the offensive in Koban village passing through Bangeni, Arare and Mana Mufo villages and there was stiff resistance from the militants, but our forces finally drove them out of those villages and we killed seven of them and injured eight others," Barush said.
He added that among the dead was the militants' commander of the battle. Residents said there was a confrontation in the town.
"Al-Shabab militants in the town were attacked by the government army, both sides exchanged heavy artilleries, but the forces are now in the town and the militants are outside of it," Hawa Elmi, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
On Oct. 19, the Somali army killed 20 al-Shabab militants in an operation in the central region of Hiran.
Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia chased al-Shabab extremists from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in central and southern regions conducting ambushes and planting landmines.