Security forces in southern Somalia on Tuesday killed 13 al-Shabab fighters during an operation in the Lower Juba region, an official said on Wednesday.
Abdi Nur Ibrahim Hussein, Jubbaland security forces spokesman told journalists that the offensive was carried out by the Somali army and Jubbaland state forces in many villages in Jamame town as the forces inflicted severe casualties on the militants and drove them out of the town.
"Our forces moved from Bar Sanguni area passing through many villages in Jamame and the fiercest resistance from the militants happened in Koban village, but we finally defeated the extremists killing 13 of them and burnt their vehicles and recovered many weapons and ammunition," Hussein said.
"Three of our soldiers sustained injuries during the operation in which we captured many villages in Jamame including Koban," he added. Locals reported witnessing intense clashes in the town.
"Government forces entered Jamame town conducting operations and there was intense clashes between the militants and the army that caused panic among the residents, but the army is now in the town and al-Shabab fighters withdrew from it," Ahmed Awale, a local inhabitant told Xinhua through phone.
The latest offensive came barely three days after Somali forces killed nine al-Shabab militants in Qoryoley town in the southern region of Somalia.
Southern regions of Somalia have been a theatre of clashes between al-Shabab extremists and government army after the militants were chased out from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by Amison forces and the Somali army.