Somali National Army (SNA) killed members of Al-Shabab fighters on Friday in an operation in the central region of Hiran, a military official said on Saturday.
The operation was conducted in an area between Bule Burde and Jala Laqsi towns where the militants were forcing the locals to pay mandatory charities, and security forces later reached the neighborhood, said Mohamud Hassan Ibrahim, commander of SNA’s 5th Unit division 27.
“The militants tried to fight against the army, and there was a stiff confrontation that lasted for hours, but we managed to subdue them, killing 12 of the militants,” Ibrahim said.
He added that the army also burnt combat vehicles from the militants during the fierce fight.
The government forces have recently intensified operations against al-Shabab extremists in central and southern regions where the militants are still hiding in the rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting land mines.