Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in clashes between government forces and members of the al-Shabab militant group in Somalia.
The fighting erupted on Wednesday after al-Shabab launched an ambush on a military convoy in the southwestern region of Gedo. At least 32 al-Shebab militants and 11 government troops were killed in the fighting, according to government sources.
Al-Shebab has claimed responsibility for the attack, but alleged that at least 19 government forces were killed in the battles that followed the ambush.
Al-Shebab is a Takfiri group that has been held accountable for much of the violence and chaos in Somalia since 2006. It has been targeting key government and security figures in the country, trying to overthrow the government in the capital, Mogadishu.
The group controls large parts of the rural south, and its members launch regular attacks even in the heart of government areas in the capital.
Somali government soldiers, as well as forces from the African Union Mission to Somalia, also known as AMISOM, have pushed the militants out of Mogadishu and other major cities in the country. The UN force is mainly comprised of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Source: Abna news