MOGADISHU, Somalia – A heavy fighting broke out between Somali army forces backed by African Union troops and al Shabaab militants in west of the capital, Mogadishu.
The fighting flared up on Monday when heavily armed militants launched an attack on army bases in Barire town, some 60km west of Mogadishu, a resident said.
He says heavy weaponry could be head through the town.
It is unclear how many were killed.
Somali armed group al Shabaab says its fighters had killed two soldiers during the skirmish.
There was no comment from Somali military over the claims.
Barire, an agricultural town in Lower Shebelle, a region largely controlled by al Qaeda linked al Shabaab.
al-Shabaab militants continue ambush attack on army bases in the town two months after the allied forces recaptured Barire town.
The rebel group still holds small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.