MOGADISHU, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Somali Special Forces (Danab) has killed 30 al-Shabab militants in an operation in the country's southern region of Lower Shabelle, a military officer confirmed on Saturday.
Ismail Abdi Malik, commander of unit 16 told reporters that the operation was conducted on Friday by Somali Special Forces in Balow Aylo neighborhood in Lower Shabelle region.
"It was a planned operation launched by our unit, we killed 30 al-Shabab fighters who were preparing explosives," the commander said. He added that their army burnt battle vehicles from the militants during the operation.
Residents told Xinhua they heard sounds of heavy artillery in the area.
"Government forces attacked al-Shabab militants in the town, there were many casualties, and we have seen burnt vehicles," Leylo Osman, a resident said.
The latest event came barely three days after the Somali army killed 20 al-Shabab militants in another operation in the same region.
Somali forces have intensified offensives against al-Shabab following the bombing in Mogadishu's Ex-Control area on year-end which killed 84 people.
Al-Shabab militants were forced out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by the Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in central and southern regions conducting ambushes and planting land mines.