Somali troops backed by African Union Peace-Keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have repelled a large scale attack by Al Shabaab fighters on AMISOM military near Bardhere town, witness said Friday.
Residents in the town said they heard blasts and gunfire as dozens of armed fighters attacked checkpoints manned by AMISOM and military bases before troops pushed them back.
SNA forces reinforced and engaged fighting with the group.
It was the largest attack by Al Shabaab to recapture the town, Al-Shabaab lost to the allied forces in 2015.
The attackers have reportedly occupied parts of the area during the overnight attack before Somali forces have counter-attacked and retaken the full control of the area.
“Last night, al-Shabaab agents attacked the town of Bardhere town and truthfully this was a big defeat for the group, as Somali forces fended off the attack,” said SNA officer who declined his named.
The officer said three Al-Shabaab fighters and one Somali soldiers were killed in the confrontation.
He added “We killed 3 Al-Shabaab fighters whom we have seen their dead bodies and SNA lost one soldier. We are making progress on the ongoing war with the group. We also try to minimize the risks of losses on our forces here.”
In July last year AMISOM and Somali forces drove Al-Shabaab fighters from the town.
The Islamist group, which wants to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, carries out frequent attacks on military targets and civilian facilities like hotels and restaurants, mostly in the capital Mogadishu.
Al Shabaab was behind an attack in January on a base for Kenyan troops working with an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. The group said it killed more than 100 soldiers, but Kenyan officials have not yet revealed the death toll.