At least 3 soldiers and a commander were killed and others injured following heavy fighting with Al Shabaab militants in Bay region, in the south part of the Horn of Africa nation.
Southwest spokesman, Nuradin Yusuf Abukar confirmed that four government soldiers and the commander of the military forces in Bur-Hakabo district were killed in the fighting.
"We have killed seven al-Shabaab militants, injured several others and recovered four guns after fighting that lasted several hours in Lug-habar location, along the road which joins Burhakaba and Baidoa town in this region," Abukar said.
He said the Somali National Army (SNA) conducted the operation against al-Shabaab militants in the area after getting information that the insurgents had mounted a checkpoint in the area.
Al-Shabaab militants, however, said they won the battle with Somali National Army, claiming to have killed SNA's commander for Bur-hakaba town, Abdirahman Osman Abrone.
The group said its fighters ambushed an SNA convey from Baidoa town, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia to Burhakaba town.
The latest fighting came amid military operations in the region to flush out insurgents who have been mounting near-daily attacks on African Union peacekeeping mission bases, government installations, and other public places.