Four people including civilians and combatants have been killed and several others wounded in raid on Afgoye town which lies 30 KM south of Somali capital.
The attack prompted hours of heavy fighting between the Somali army and heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters.
Military sources in Afgooye town said Al-Shabaab attacked an army base in Afgoye before they were repelled by Somali forces.
“The fighting broke out after Al-Shabaab attempted to capture the town by battle, but our forces managed to push them,” a military officer said.
Residents reported they heard loud explosions and gunshots as Al-Shabaab fighters entered the town waving the group’s black flag.
Al-Shabaab claimed on pro-insurgent Radio Andalus it had captured the town, inflicting heavy casualties on Somali soldiers.
” Our mujahideen fighters briefly captured Afgooye town where they killed number infidels,” Al-Shabaab spokesman, Abdulaziz Mus’ab told pro-Al-Shabaab radio.
Afgoye which once used to be Al-Shabaab stronghold is an agricultural and strategic town located only 30 kilometres southwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The group is carrying out hit and run attacks in major towns under government and deadly explosions in the capital Mogadishu.