At least 10 people were killed in clashes between Somali army troops and al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia, eyewitnesses and security sources told Anadolu Agency.The clash took place on Monday night when al-Shabaab militants attacked Somali troops in the town of Afgooye, eyewitnesses said.
The fighting lasted for about three hours during which the two sides used heavy weapons, they added.
A security source, who requested anonymity, told Anadolu Agency early Tuesday that government forces responded to the attack, which caused the death of 10 soldiers and injured several others.
So far no official comment has been made by Somali authorities about the incident.
The Somali armed insurgent group, al-Shabaab, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on SomaliMeMo, a website close to the militant group.
According to the website the militant group took control of Afgooye town but withdrew a few hours later.
The same site also said that the planned attack targeted government military sites, adding that al-Shabaab fighters had seized two military vehicles and killed several government soldiers without specifying the number.
Al-Shabaab emerged from the chaos of Somalia’s civil war and in recent years it has carried out a number of attacks in Somalia and in neighboring countries, including Kenya, most notably the university attack last April that killed 148 and the 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping center that killed 67.