Somali National Army officials in Gedo region said they killed ten al-Shabab militants during an operation in the area.

The troops launched an offensive on al-Shabaab bases in Baar Maalim village near Bardere town while repulsing counter-offensive from the militants.

According to local sources the fighting erupted after livestock farmers sought the support of the Somali government forces over al-Shabaab extortion of their stock under the tag of Zakawat or annual tax.

On their side, al-Shabaab said they resisted an attack by Ethiopian troops to retake their stronghold.

The group carried out a wave of attacks inform of hit and run attacks against Somali National Army and AMISOM in the region in the past.

Somali National Army backed by AU peacekeeping troops retook key strategic areas in the past months following an offensive against former group stronghold mainly in Shabelle regions near the capital.


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