MOGADISHU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA) killed 15 al-Shabab insurgents in a fierce fighting Thursday in Galmudug State, central Somalia, the government confirmed Friday.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said the militants were killed after they attempted to raid military bases.
"Having prior information the Somali forces in cooperation with the local people foiled an attempted raid of the army bases by the terrorist group," the ministry said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The government vowed to step up anti-terrorism measures across the country and called on those misled by al-Shabab to surrender or shun the militant group's ideology.
The local pro-government militia known as Ma'awisley backed by the SNA liberated more villages in Hiran and Galmudug within one month.
The militant group fighting to topple the government has been facing enormous pressure and an offensive from government forces backed by the local militia to flush it out of the Hiran region of central Somalia.
The extremist group was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 but is still capable of conducting attacks, targeting government installations, hotels, restaurants, and public places. ■