KISMAYO, Somalia – A heavy fighting broke out on Friday between Somali army forces from Jubaland state and Al Shabab militants near Kismayo, a port town lies some 500km south of the capital Mogadishu.
The clash flared up when al Shabab militants carried out an ambush attack on two army bases in Yontow and Abdlla Birole areas near the town.
Local residents said that the ambush attack had sparked fierce gun battle.
Residents in the area said that heavy and light weapons had been used during the fighting.
It is unclear how many were killed or injured from both sides.
Somalia’s Jubbaland regional military said they had repulsed the attack and inflicted heavy casualties on al Shabab side.
The Somali and Jubaland military forces carried out joint operation to hunt down the attackers, but no arrests have been made.
Al Shabab, an al Qaeda linked group stepped up its attacks on Somali army and African Union bases in south and central towns as well as the capital Mogadishu.
The group carried out a suicide attack on an African Union military convoy on Thursday in Mogadishu, leaving at least 8 people dead, while wounding over a dozen, including seven school children.
Thursday’s explosion was the third suicide attack that Mogadishu has suffered in this month.
Somalia’s security is worsening as the federal government turned all attention to the ongoing election that gave Al-Shabaab a chance to stage attacks and targeted assassinations.