MOGADISHU, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Fierce clashes between Somali regional forces of Jubaland and al-Shabab fighters erupted on Monday in Gedo region of southern Somalia, killing at least 16 from the both sides, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
Jamal Hassan Farey, a senior commander of Jubaland forces, told reporters that they have launched heavy attack on al-Shabab fighters near Geedweyne in Gedo region in southern Somalia.
"We have lost five soldiers and seven others sustained injuries during the fighting. We killed 11 al-Shabab fighters and seized weapons," the commander said.
The commander said the move to attack al-Shabab came after a tip-off indicates that the militants were planning to wage offensive on Jubaland forces but they responded quickly and attacked them.
Residents reported the fighting saying it lasted for several hours. "Both sides engaged in heavy fighting and there were casualties but we don't have figures," Abdiqani Ahmed, a resident in Gedo said.
Independent sources said a military commander was among those killed in the fighting in the southern part of the Horn of Africa nation.
The militant group frequently launches attacks in the towns bordering Kenya, targeting Jubaland forces and Kenyan troops.