MOGADISHU – Heavy fighting broke out between Somali national army forces and Al Shabaab fighters near Marka town, some 91km southwest of Mogadishu.
The fighting flared up in Gandarshe area near the town, after Somali army forces launched military offensive against Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
Somalia’s Lower Shabelle governor, Mohamed Ibrahim, confirmed that 20 Al Shabaab fighters had been killed in the fighting near the coastal town of Marka.
Ibrahim says the military offensive was meant to flush out the remnants of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in the region.
He says the operation would continue until the group’s fighters are eradicated.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
Al Shabaab group has been driven out of many urban areas since 2011 following joint military offensives carried out by African Union forces and Somali National Army forces.
The group still controls territory in rural areas and carries out gun attacks and bombings on military and civilian targets in the war-ravaged nation.