Five Al-Shabaab militants were killed and seven others arrested in military operations at Basra and Jambalul locations in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions of southern Somalia, officials said on Monday.
Government Army Commander Omar Dhere said Somali National Army (SNA) conducted the operations in several areas, mainly Basra near Bal'ad town in Middle Shabelle region and Jambalul location near Afgoye town in Lower Shabelle region.
"The military operations continue from the two regions, Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle regions, we killed five Al-Shabaab militants and captured seven others during the operation. We will end such operation against terrorist militants successfully in a short time soon," Dhere said.
He said the military operation might be affected by bad weather conditions in the region. "It's raining heavily in Middle Shabelle region now but our soldiers are determined to continue with the operations," he said.
There was no immediate comment from the Al-Shabaab militants who have stepped up their assault against the government and African Union bases including hotels and other public places.
"This is a preliminary military operation of the national plan to fight terrorist militants in Somalia in which the government announced. The Somali National Army have liberated several areas in the two regions so far, and we are committed to fight with them," SNA Commander Abdulahi Ali Anod said.
The latest operation comes after the national and federal governments resolved to jointly fight Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation.