MOGADISHU -- The Somali Special Forces (Danab Brigade) killed 20 al-Shabab extremists in the country's southern region of Lower Shabelle on Tuesday, a military officer said Wednesday.
Ismail Abdi Malik, commander of the 16th Unit of Somali Special Forces, told journalists that "our forces have taken control of many villages during the operation, such as Mordinle, Bula Maskin, Faqayle, Bula Bashir and we inflicted heavy casualties on the militants, killing 20 of them during the offensive."
He added that the army will maintain operations until it drives the militants out of the whole region.
Residents said there was an intense confrontation between the government army and al-Shabab militants.
Al-Shabab is an Islamist militant group allied to al-Qaida. Based in Somalia, it seeks to establish an Islamic state in the country and reached its peak in 2011 when it controlled parts of the capital city of Mogadishu.
The Somali army, with support of the African Union forces, drove all al-Shabab militants out of Mogadishu in August 2011. Since then, the army has been fighting with the militant group in the country's southern and central regions. In retaliation, al-Shabab has launched a series of deadly terrorist attacks across the Eastern African country.