Four people including Somali soldiers and Al-Shabaab fighters were killed Saturday in heavy clashes in the outskirt of Qasahdhere town following operations carried out by Somali forces local authorities said Wednesday.
Mohamed Isack Are’ase, who was the commander leading the soldiers said the deaths took place in the outskirt of the town after Southwest forces attacked Al-Shabaab base.
“Our forces have attacked elements of the Al Shabaab group who had military base few kilometres away from Qansahdhere town,” Are’ase said.
He added “three of the fighters were killed in the fighting and the rest fled,” he said, adding that the clean-up operation was still ongoing.
He said he lost one soldier in the fighting.
It was not immediately possible to independently verify the information.
Al-Shabaab has been driven out of major strongholds in Somalia in recent years in a joint offensive by AMISOM and local forces, but is still believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters who regularly launch guerrilla-style assaults and bomb attacks.
Al-Shabaab is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the TFG’s Ethiopian military allies.
The group describes itself as waging jihad against “enemies of Islam”, and is engaged in combat against the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM)