The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces said Monday they have arrested nine al-Shabab militants during a security operation backed by Somali troops in southern region.
The AU mission said the operation, which was carried out on Sunday in near Sabiid Anole town in Lower Shabelle, about 40 km south of Mogadishu, saw al-Shabab commander and explosive expert arrested.
"The militants were in possession of IED (improvised explosive device) making materials which they intended to use to build explosives," said the AU mission.
It said the fighting erupted after the allied forces came under attack by the terrorists but did not indicate the number of al-Shabab militants who were killed during the fighting.
"All suspects are currently being interrogated by the relevant authorities," said the AMISOM. The arrests came a week after the strategic bridge of Sabiid was liberated by the allied forces.
Meanwhile, AMISOM also confirmed the arrest of an al-Shabab terrorist who has been extorting money from civilians at checkpoints in Qoryooley.
The AU mission vowed to continue supporting the Somali security forces to restore peace in all regions of Somalia.
The allied forces ousted al-Shabab from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the terror group is still in control of certain areas in southern Somalia and capable of conducting attacks.