MOGADISHU (Xinhua) – Somali forces backed by a local militia group known as Ma’awisley killed 11 al-Shabab extremists and injured 15 others in Jowhar town in Somalia’s southern region of Middle Shabelle on Tuesday, military officials said yesterday.
Salah Ya’qub, commander of Somali forces in charge of 27th division told journalists that a fierce intense counter attack flared in Shimbirow village in Jowhar town after the militants launched an attack on a base used by government-backed local militia but they were overpowered and repelled.
“The allied forces managed to kill 11 militants and injured 15 others.
“Our forces are now running the base,” the officer said, noting that the forces are now conducting operations in the town pursuing the remnants of the militants who ran outside of the town.
Local inhabitants said there was a fierce fight in the town.
“Hooded men attacked the army’s base in the area and shortly after we heard the sound of mortar shells,” Jamila Elmi, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
The latest counter offensive came barely two days after government forces killed 20 militants injuring more than 30 others in another counter attack in Barire town in southern region of Lower Shabelle.
Al-Shabab also claimed victory from Tuesday’s attack saying its fighters briefly captured an army base in Shimbirow village and seized weapons and ammunitions from the army.
Meanwhile, the government forces have rescued 20 civilians who had been abducted by the militant group after an operation carried out in southern port town of Kismayo.
Military officials said the rescue operation was carried out in villages within the vicinity of Yontoy, north of Kismayo.
The al-Qaida militants have intensified their attacks on the army bases in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions after they lost many of their strong holds in those regions.