Somali military forces have carried out Sunday a massive security operation in the small villages near the town of Bardere in Gedo region located in the southwest of Somalia.
The local officials say the operation which took place west of Bardere city was aimed at preventing possible Al-Shabaab attacks against the government-controlled towns.
The crackdown came following an attack on Bardere by Al-Shabaab last week, which led to the deaths of several people, according to the villagers who spoke to Radio Shabelle.
Al Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda allied militant group in Somalia has intensified its attacks in the country since the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The Somali government has previously promised to step up the war on Al-Shabaab to restore peace and stability in the conflict-riddled Horn of Africa nation.