MOGADISHU – Somali military says at least 14 Al Shabaab militants were killed in fighting in Barire town, some 60km west of Somali capital Mogadishu.
The fighting erupted after al Shabaab fighters launched an attack on army bases in the town, leaving 14 militants dead.
Gen. Odawa Joseph, a military boss said its army forces repulsed the attack carried out by al Shabaab and killed 14 of them during the fighting in the town.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab militants continue to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.
Somalia collapsed into anarchy in 1991 when war lords overthrew a military regime.
Major armed conflict has since subsided, which allowed for parliamentary and presidential elections to take place in 2012.