MOGADISHU – Somali armed group al Shabaab has carried out an attack on military bases in Bardale near Baidoa town, some 250km south west of the capital of Mogadishu.
The attack triggered heavy fighting between Somali military forces backed by Ethiopian troops and al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
The fighting lasted for an hour, a witness said, after heavily armed militants launched an ambush attack army bases manned by the coalition forces.
He says three government soldiers were killed during the fighting.
The allied forces repulsed the attack and warded off the militants.
The al Qaeda linked group claimed a victory over the fighting.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab killed dozens, mostly civilians in similar deadly suicide attacks on hotels, popular eateries and other public gatherings in the capital of Mogadishu.
The rebel group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.
The militants continue to hold 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 of Somalia.