MOGADISHU, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA) on Tuesday killed 30 al-Shabab militants and injured several others after heavy fighting between the two sides in southern Somalia.
SNA Infantry Commander Mohamed Tahlil Bihi told the Somali News Agency that the army backed by pro-government militia, Ma'awisley, repulsed the militants during the operation.
"The terrorists tried to attack the bases owned by the joint forces in the region, but the forces responded swiftly. Our forces are still pursuing them," Bihi said.
He, however, did not disclose the number of casualties suffered by the SNA or local militia.
The al-Shabab extremist group claimed to have killed 20 soldiers and wounded 10 others and burned two vehicles during the fight.
The government forces have intensified their attacks against al-Shabab since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared an all-out war against the militants last year.
The president has vowed that the military operations to flush out al-Shabab militants from their strongholds will be intensified to stop extortion of the Somali people and the spread of propaganda, intimidation, and extremism in Somalia. ■