By Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - Somali national army (SNA) on Friday said it had killed 28 al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terrorists in a military operation against the terrorist group over the last forty-eight hours.
The operation against the group took place in the villages of Marerey, Mukay-Dhere, Shalow and Yaqle villages, all located on the outskirts of the town of Balad, in the country's Middle Shabelle region, according to a security officer in the region, who spoke to Anadolu Agency over the phone.
He said there was also a fresh firefight on Friday between the Somali military and al-Shabaab after the terrorists attacked the village of Mukay-Dhere that also resulted in the death of several civilians which he described as "tragic".
Balad is a strategic agricultural town located 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of the country's capital, Mogadishu.
The commander of the 27th Division of the Somali National Army, Salah Yaqub also confirmed the operation to local media, saying they carried out the offensive against Al-Shabaab and killed 28 terrorist fighters and destroyed their hideouts.
The road between Jowhar, the provincial capital of Middle Shabelle and Balad, has been the scene of several attacks and explosions in recent years that killed dozens of people including civilians, military personnel and Hirshabelle State officials.