At least 77 Al-Shabaab militants were killed after the jihadist group attacked a military camp on the outskirts of the town of Kismayo early Saturday, military officials said.
Heavily-armed Shabaab militants attacked a military camp, followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire which lasted hours.
“The terrorists attacked military base in Baar-Sanguuni of Middle Jubba using heavy weaponry and explosives. The Somali military and Jubaland forces resisted the enemy before later retreating back from the base,” Colonel Mohamed Ibrahim Bulle of 43 division of Somali National Army forces told Goobjoog News.
“Six soldiers were killed during the attack and four others injured after a booby-trapped vehicle was detonated to the base,” he added.
The US military has stepped up the fight by airstrikes against Al-Shabaab militants.
The Somali forces have also received reinforcement from Kismayo and returned to the base.
“The Somali forces managed to control the base with the assistance of military helicopters belonging to the US Special Forces which were hovering over the area even after the attack,” he said.
The incident came a day after Shabaab said it had attacked Ethiopian troops in Somalia in an ambush attack on the road between the capital and the southwest town of Baidoa.
The Shabaab have been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu and on Tuesday carried out a deadly attack in neighbouring Kenya, which it has regularly targeted since Nairobi sent troops into Somalia.