Somali army kills 12 Al-Shabaab militants

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, al-Shabab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor, File)
African Union troops in Somalia

Somali army killed 12 members of Al-Shabaab extremists on Monday in an operation in the southern region of Lower Shabelle, a military officer said on Tuesday.

Ismail Abdi Malik, commander of the 16th Unit of Somali Special Forces, told journalists that the army launched an attack on a base used by Al-Shabaab militants in Wan lawayn town and inflicted casualties.

“The offensive happened successfully. There was a confrontation between the militants and the army. But the forces defeated them, killing 12 of them,” Malik said.

He added that the forces will maintain the offensives until the army drives the militants out of the whole region.

Residents said the town witnessed clashes between government forces and Al-Shabaab militants.

Southern regions of Somalia have become the theatre of clashes between government forces and Al-Shabaab extremists since the militants were chased from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by Somali army and African Union forces.