MOGADISHU, June 20 (Xinhua) — At least 12 al-Shabab fighters were killed and several others escaped with injuries in a fierce fighting with Somali National Army (SNA) at a location in the southern port town of Kismayo.
SNA commander Ismail Sahardid on Wednesday confirmed the Tuesday incident at Bar-Sanguni location, saying the military operation was aimed at liberating more areas still under al-Shabab in Lower Jubba region.
“Somali National Army conducted military operation against al-Shabab at several areas including Bar-Sanguni location in this region on Tuesday and killed 12 terrorists and injured several others during the operation,” Sahardid said.
He did not comment on whether there were casualties on SNA side during the operation.
The group’s affiliated media said the al-Qaeda allied militant group killed two government soldiers in the gunfight and resisted attacks from Somali forces. The group claimed that Bar-Sanguni is under the militants’ control now.
Independent sources could not confirm the control of Bar-Sanguni location which has been under target by the allied forces.
The U.S. Africa command (Africom) said the incident took place during a joint operation in Jubaland in southern Somalia conducted by combined Somali National Security Forces (SNSF), Kenyan Defense Force (KDF) and the U.S. special forces.
The Somali and allied troops have intensified operations in Somalia after the killing of U.S. special operations soldier on June 8. Some four soldiers were also injured in a firefight against the al-Shabab in Bar-Sanguni.