Somali forces clash with Al Shabaab, 7 killed
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A fierce gun battle broke out between Somali military forces and al Shabaab militants near Jowhar, an agricultural town lies some 91km north of the capital, Mogadishu.
The clash flared up when the militants carried out an ambush attack on soldiers while regrouping to raid on key areas held by Al Shabaab, a witness said.
The surprise assault triggering heavy fighting took place just outside Jowhar town.
Somali armed group al Shabaab says it killed seven soldiers during the attack.
The rebel group says a senior army official identified as Abdi Hassan was among those who were killed in the skirmish.
There was no immediate comment from the military command over the claims.
Al Shabaab, an al Qaeda affiliate group carried out similar attacks in and out of the country’s capital, Mogadishu for the last months.
The group was pushed out of Mogadishu capital in 2011 by Somali army troops and 22,000-strong African Union force in Somalia.
The rebel group also lost most of their strongholds, but it still controls large rural areas and remains the key threat to peace in Somalia.
The militant group has been fighting for over ten years to overthrow the internationally- backed government in Somalia.