Somali special forces (Danab) killed 20 al-Shabab militants in counter-offensive in southern Somali region of Lower Shabelle on Sunday night, officials said on Monday.
Odawa Yusuf Rage, the commander of Somali infantry division said the militants launched an attack on Somali army base in Bariire town in Lower Shabelle region but the forces fought them back bravely and inflicted severe casualties.
"The confrontation was fierce but our forces repelled the militants, killing 20 of them and injured more than 30 others," Rage said, adding that the forces were on alert to counter any attempts by the militants.
Locals reported seeing bodies on the streets following the clashes. "We were shocked by the sounds of heavy gun fire last night and in the morning we saw many bodies in the streets near the army base," Guled Adow, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
On Auguest 14, the militants drove suicide car bombs on the army's base in Awdheegle town in the same region in which the government said it killed 7 al-Shabab militants and injured 10 others.
The militant group reportedly deployed hundreds of its fighters to Lower Shabelle region after losing control of Bariire, Sabiid, Caanole and Awdheegle towns this year.
Al-Qaida affiliated group al-Shabab said its fighters conducted an attack on Somali army base in Bariire town on Sunday night, but it did not state whether there was any casualties.