MOGADISHU, Somalia – Heavy fighting broke out between US-backed forces of Somalia and Al Shabaab militants in south of Mogadishu.
The clash flared up when heavily armed Al Shabaab fighters launched an attack on army base manned by government forces in Sabid town, some 40km south of Mogadishu.
The al Qaeda linked group claims to have overrun and briefly seized the military base after the ambush attack.
The group says its fighters killed several soldiers in the assault.
Somali military says the army forces had repulsed the surprise attack carried out by al Shabaab.
The attack comes two week after the country’s army forces backed by African Union troops captured Sabid town from Al Shabaab.
Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years in 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.
But the group still has a strong presence in many rural areas.