MOGADISHU, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 35 al-Shabab militants were killed and several others injured after an exchange of fire between Somali national army, backed by African Union forces, and the militants in Qoryoley, a town in lower Shabelle region, in southern Somalia, officials said on Monday.
One Somali soldier was killed and two others injured during heavy fighting with the militants overnight, Qoryoley Deputy Governor Abdi Ahmed Ali told reporters.
"Our forces killed 35 al-Shabab militants and injured several others after defeating the enemy who attacked the town," Ali said. "We have collected their bodies to bury now."
"We had prior intelligence that the terrorists are going to attack us and this caused more casualties on the enemy side," the governor said.
Al-Shabab has not yet commented on Ali's statement on the latest government victory over the militants.
The group, however, claimed to have carried out mortar attacks on bases of the Somali national army and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) near Barawo, a town in the same region.