Somali government forces were reported to have retaken a key area in the country’s Middle Shabelle region following a military operation against the militants-held positions.

A senior military officer told Radio Shabelle by phone that the SNA troops backed by African Union peacekeepers rolled into Madah-Isse village, located in the outskirts of Jowhar, the region’s administrative capital on Sunday.

Al-Shabaab said its fighters retreated from the location after a brief confrontation with government soldiers moved from military bases in Qalimow town and Ceelka Geelow, all situated in the same region.

In a separate incident, the militants attacked Bariire area, about 65 Kilometers southwest of Mogadishu, and engaged in a heavy gunfight with the Somali troops, according to local residents.

There was no immediate confirmation of the casualties as a result of the attack and the prior takeover of the fresh village.