A combined joint task force comprised of the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubaland security forces killed 11 Al-Shabaab fighters on Monday during an afternoon raid on a suspected Al-Shabaab base in southern Somalia.
Jubaland Darawish commander, Gen. Jamal Hassan Farey announced that the SNA/Jubaland troops now occupy the base.
The forces conducted the assault on what they believe was a new base for the militant insurgency group in a village 50km from Beled Hawo.
According to Jubaland security forces, the heavy gun battle that lasted several hours and left 11 militants dead, two tactical vehicles with mounted machine guns destroyed, and several light machine guns seized by the army.
Gen. Farey added the militants were planning to use the base to conduct ambushes and attacks against the SNA and Jubaland.
“Our troops have attacked an Al-Shabaab contingent near the town of Balad Hawo. The group is known to attack the Jubaland Darawish Force and we believe that the group was planning another attack,” said Farey.
During the assault on the base, five Jubaland soldiers were reported killed including a ranking officer named Abdi Abdullahi Hassan.
Al-Shabaab claims that ten Jubaland soldiers were killed.
The Somali military and international partners have intensified its operations against Al-Shabaab fighters in southern Somalia. In 2017, there were no less than 7 U.S. airstrikes in the region.
The Al-Qaida-linked group is attempting to overthrow the internationally-backed government and install their own form of strict Islamic law throughout Somalia.