MOGADISHU, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA) and local forces backed by international partners killed 16 al-Shabab militants in an operation in the country's southern region on Wednesday, officials said on Thursday.
Abdi Nur Ibrahim, Jubaland spokesman for security told journalists that an offensive was carried out by SNA and Jubaland forces along with foreign partners in an area between Bar Sanguni and Jamame in Somalia's southern Lower Juba region.
Local residents said that the two warring sides exchanged huge gunfire.
"Heavily armed forces attacked al-Shabab militants in the town, both engaged fierce fighting," Dubad Ga'al, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) operating under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) killed three al-Shabab militants and captured one in a gunfight in Somali border town of Bura Hache.
Paul Njuguna, KDF spokesman, said the incident took place at about 2 p.m. as soldiers patrolled the area in the northern region.
Somali security forces backed by AMISOM ousted al-Shabab from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the terror group is still in control of several areas in southern Somalia and capable of conducting attacks.