Somalia-based Shebab militants on Wednesday have launched attacks on army convoy near the village of Tulo-Barwao in the southwestern Gedo District of Somalia, a region bordering Ethiopia and Kenya, which resulted in confrontational gunfights.
Shebab militants claimed responsibility for the ambush targeting the government’s troops.
The militant groupd said, "Mujahedeen fighters carried out a successful ambush against a military convoy transporting senior apostate officials, killing 19."
Government officials report the toll at 32 Shebab and 11 government soldiers killed, while the Shebab said the only casualties were 19 government troops. Local resident Abdulahi Halane said around 30 people were killed in total.
According to AFP, it is not possible to verify the exact death toll from the government troops and the Shebab militants.
In 2012, the militants pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda militant group. They are fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, and still controls some parts of the rural south.
Government and African Union troops last month launched a several offensive targeting Shebab strongholds in southern Somalia.