At least 18 al-Shabab extremists were killed in a security operation by Somali National Army (SNA) on the outskirts of Barire town in the southern region of Lower Shabelle.
A military officer, Ahmed Hassan Ziyad, said on Tuesday.
Ziyad, Commander of SNA’s 143rd Unit, told journalists that the army conducted an operation in Nun Garay village following intelligence of the militants’ presence in the area.
“The militants suffered casualties in a stiff confrontation with our forces.
“We killed 18 of them,’’ Ziyad said.
He added that those killed in the fierce fight included Sidow Nurre Abu Muhsin, the militants’ operational commander in the Lower Shabelle region.
In recent months, government forces have intensified operations against al-Shabab extremists in central and southern regions where the militants are hiding in the rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.