MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least four government soldiers lost their lives in a surprise assault claimed by an al Qeada linked al Shabaab group based in Somalia.
The attack triggered fierce fighting between al Shabab militants and Turkey-trained military forces in Janalle town, some 90km southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
In a phone interview, a local resident says heavy weaponry could be heard through the town.
He says the skirmish lasted an hour.
In an online statement, the Somali-based group al Shabaab group claimed to have killed at least four military soldiers trained by Turkey.
Somali military officials are unavailable to reach on the phone for comments over the claims made by the extremist group.
Last month, Somali army forces and African Union troops recaptured Janalle town after a joint military operation.
The rebel group was ousted out of the capital, Mogadishu by the country’s army, along with African Union peacekeeping force in 2011.
But, the group still holds large swaths in south and central Somalia where the militants are believed to carry out its attacks on country’s army and AU military base and key government installations.