MOGADISHU, Somalia –A heavy fighting broke out between Somali army forces and al Qaeda liked Al Shabaab in Barire town, some 60km west of Mogadishu.
The fighting flared up when heavily armed Al Shabaab launched an ambush attack on army bases manned by government forces, days after the group was driven out of the town.
The attack, which triggered a fierce clash, has lasted for hours, while the two sides used heavy and slight weapons during the skirmish, a witness said.
He says heavy casualties inflicted on both sides, but it remains unclear how many were killed.
The group’s fighters retreated, shortly after reinforcements from Somali Special Forces known ‘Danab’ reached into in the town.
The situation returned into normal as public activates resumed on Sunday after the fighting subsided.
The attack comes days after Somali army and African Union troops liberated Bariire town from Al Shabaab.
Bariire, is an agricultural-rich town lies about 60km west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The town was serving as a key transit point for Al-Shabaab fighters who frequently crossed over from southern regions.
The seizure of the town is big blow to Al Shabaab, according to head of African Union mission in Somalia, Francisco Madeira.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia.