The Somali military killed at least 14 al-Shabaab militants Tuesday, including an operational commander, in an attack in a government-controlled town in southern Somalia, an official said.
Government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Oronjo told Anadolu Agency that the army repulsed the attack in Bal'ad, Middle Shabelle region.
"The terrorists crossed the river early morning and attacked the town but they were inflicted with huge casualties. One government soldier was killed and six others wounded," he said.
While the al-Qaeda-affiliated group claimed it captured the town, the official said the government restored law and order.
Bal'ad is an strategic agricultural town 30 kilometers (18 miles) northeast of the capital Mogadishu.
In a separate development, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the identity of the senior al-Shabaab leader killed in an Aug. 25 airstrike in Somalia was AbdulQadir Commandos.
“The Al-Shabaab leader was killed in the airstrike near Saakow, Somalia. He held numerous positions within the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization, including recently serving as Al-Shabab commander,” said AFRICOM.
On Monday, at least three soldiers were killed, and several injured in a car bomb blast that targeted a military base outside Kismayo.
One US service member was also wounded in the attack, according to AFRICOM.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming several US soldiers were killed.
Formed in 2004, the organization has been fighting to topple the country’s Western-backed government, and establish its own rule.
It frequently carries out attacks against military and civilian targets.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.