Odawa Rage, the commander of Somali infantry division said the militants launched an attack on Somali army base in Bariire town but the forces fought them back and wreak severe casualties.
“The confrontation was fierce but our forces repelled the militants, killing 20 of them and injured more than 30 others,’’ Rage said.
Locals reported seeing bodies on the streets following the clashes.
“We were shocked by the sounds of heavy gun fire last night and in the morning we saw many bodies in the streets near the army base,’’ Guled Adow, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
On Aug. 14, the militants drove suicide car bombs on the army’s base in Awdheegle town in the same region in which the government said it killed seven al-Shabab militants and injured 10 others.
The militant group reportedly deployed hundreds of its fighters to Lower Shabelle region after losing control of Bariire, Sabiid, Caanole and Awdheegle towns this year.