At least 7 people were killed in central Somalia on Monday after Islamist hardliners were ambushed, Radio Garowe reports.
Three Al Shabaab fighters were among the dead after a pro-government militia ambushed a convoy of armed trucks transporting Al Shabaab fighters from Bule Burte town to Mahas town in the central Hiran region. Mahas has been the scene of heavy fighting since last week. READ: Fighting among Islamists spreads, Jowhar falls
The ambush took place at Ayn village in Hiran region and the Al Shabaab fighters were forced to retreat to their main base in Bulo Burte.
Four civilians were killed during the clashes but there were no reports of casualties on the attackers, whom villages described as a pro-government militia.
Somalia's interim government, which controls very little territory in Mogadishu, is facing a growing insurgency led by Islamist hardliners like Al Shabaab.