THe Somali National Army (SNA) on Saturday killed six al-Shabab militants in a gun-battle in the country's southern region of Gedo, a military officer confirmed. Mohamed Ali Abdullahi, commander of Somali National Army (SNA) in Bardhere town, said they had launched an attack on al-Shabab militants in the area following a tip-off, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Residents informed us that militants were forcing them to pay taxes. Our army attacked the area. It was a tough battle, but we drove them out of the town and killed six of them," the military commander said. Our forces also razed two battle vehicles of militants.
"Al-Shabab militants entered our village and ordered us to pay mandatory taxes. But the government army attacked them. They fought for hours. The militants are now out of the city," Mulki Afrah, a resident told Xinhua via phone.
Southern regions of Somalia have become the battleground between government forces and al-Shabab extremists after the militants were chased out from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011 by Somali army and African Union forces.