Somali National Army officials in Gedo region lost a key village to al-Shabab militants during an attack on Sunday morning.
The fighters launched an offensive on Somali army bases in Baar Maalim near Bardere town and seized control of the area following fierce fighting.
According to local sources, the battle has led to the deaths of soldiers and militants, although the number of casualties has not yet been confirmed.
On their side, al-Shabaab militants said they resisted an attack by Somali troops to retake their stronghold.
The group carried out a wave of attacks inform of hit and run attacks against Somali National Army and AMISOM in the region in the past.
Somali Army backed by AU troops retook key strategic areas in the past months following an offensive against former group stronghold mainly in Shabelle regions near the capital.