Somali National Army (SNA) has a foiled al-Shabaab attack following an ambush during the rehabilitation of Shabelle bank in Aw-dhegle town of Lower Shabelle region.
According to reports, SNA soldiers who were dispatched to build flood-barriers to protect farms and houses from river floods have come under attack, prompting fierce fighting between the forces and al-Shabaab.
Locals say Somali forces defeated the fighters. Al-Shabaab has not commented on the attack and the casualties on their soldiers.
The move comes a time when the Somali army in cooperation with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) stepped up operations liberate villages under al-Shabaab control in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
Al-Shabaab which once controlled most south and central Somalia has lost many of their strongholds following fighting with SNA soldiers.
The group lost control of Somali capital Mogadishu in 2011 after several days of fierce fighting with the Somali army backed by AMISOM.