BARAWE, Somalia – Heavy fighting broke out on Sunday between Somali national army [SNA] forces and al Shabab militants in Barawe town, some 220km south-west of the capital Mogadishu.
The fighting erupted when al Shabab militants launched an ambush attack at the airport in the town, a local resident said via phone.
He says heavy weaponry could be heard in the town.
Somali military chief Odawa Yusuf Rageh said at least six militants had been killed in the skirmish.
Rageh says the SNA forces had repulsed the attack.
He did not mention if any soldier was killed or injured during the fighting.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabab over the claims.
Al Shabab, an al Qaeda linked group has been waging insurgency for more than ten years in Somalia.
The group wants to topple the UN backed government-based in the capital Mogadishu.