MOGADISHU, Sept. 8 — Somali National Army (SNA) on Tuesday killed 14 al-Shabab militants following an early morning attack at the strategic town of Bal’ad, 30 kilometers north of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Ismael Mukhtar Omar, government spokesman who confirmed the incident, said a government soldier also died in the attack while seven civilians were injured in the latest attack in the Horn of Africa nation by al-Qaida linked terrorist group.
“Situation in the town of Bal’ad is calm now following the earlier attack by al-Shabab; 14 terrorists were killed, one government soldier also died, seven civilians were wounded,” Omar said in a statement.
Residents said al-Shabab fighters entered Bal’ad town in a surprise attack amid reports the militants took control of local government headquarters and police stations and later discharged inmates from prisons.
The latest attack comes after two SNA soldiers were killed and three others including a U.S. officer wounded in a car bomb attack on Monday within the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, a town near the coastal city of Kismayo.
The militants have intensified attacks in Somalia despite government forces having made consecutive operations against the extremists in central and southern regions in recent months in an attempt to uproot al-Shabab cells.