MOGADISHU, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Somali forces on Wednesday night killed 18 al-Shabab extremists in Jilib town in the southern Middle Juba Region, officials said on Thursday.
Mural Ahmed Farah, commander of Jubaland forces in Jamame in Lower Juba told journalists that Somali special forces, known as the Danab, and Jubaland forces backed by international partners killed the militants after being tipped off by residents.
"The militants were meeting in the town and we got a tip-off from the residents. We killed 18 al-Shabab fighters in the operation," the official said.
He added that six of those killed in the operation were bomb experts. Residents said they were shocked by the sound of the mortars during the assault at night.
"We heard the sound of mortars at night and in the morning the militants were preventing the residents to approach the area of the airstrikes," a local resident told Xinhua by phone.
The move comes barely two days after Somali forces killed 11 al-Shabab militants in clashes in Middle Shabelle Region in southern Somalia.
Meanwhile, Somali security forces have arrested four al-Shabab militants during a sting operation carried out around Weydow in the outskirts of Mogadishu on Thursday.
The police said the suspects who are in the custody will be investigated for their involvement in the terror attacks on government soldiers and officials along Mogadishu-Afgoye road.
There was no immediate comment from al-Qaida allied group al-Shabab on the latest incident.