Mogadishu: The Somali National Army (SNA) backed by southwestern state forces killed seven al-Shabab militants in an operation in Dinsor town in the Bay region, southern Somalia, an official said on Wednesday. Also Read - Ghana will not offer military base to US: president

Abdi Salam Sidow, governor of Dinsor, told journalists that the joint operation on Tuesday came after the army got intelligence of the militants’ presence in the area, Xinhua reported. Also Read - At Least 56 Drowned After Human Traffickers Throw 300 African Migrants Into Sea

“Our forces attacked the militants, and there was stiff resistance, but we overpowered the militants,” Sidow said. Also Read - Somali parliament members sworn in amid UN criticism

“We are now in the town and the militants ran out of it. We killed seven militants during the operation,” he added.

Residents told Xinhua that government forces carried out an attack on al-Shabab militants in the town.

“Both sides exchanged firing from heavy weapons and the residents panicked; there were casualties sustained by the warring sides,” Bahja Osman, a resident, told Xinhua via phone.

On February 21, the Somali army backed by international partners killed 15 al-Shabab militants and injured 20 others in another operation on the outskirts of Jamame town in the country’s southern region of Lower Juba.