BAIDOA – At least three people have been killed and four others injured in fighting broke out between government soldiers and Al Shabab militants near Baidoa town, some 250km southwest of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
Tuesday’s battle erupted after Somali troops attacked on militants’ targets in El-Dhun area, about 30km from Baidoa town, according to military officer, Foriyow Mohamed.
Mohamed says government forces launched an operation after receiving reports that militants had been collecting extortion money from locals near the town.
“Two militants died in the clash. We lost a soldier, but we will continue targeting bases manned by Al Shabaab”, Mohamed told Mareeg Online via phone.
No word was available from Al Shabaab over the skirmish near Baidoa town.
The group, which once ruled much of Somalia, has been fighting for years to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia.
Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 – the weak transitional government and Islamist militias are competing for control of the country.