The Somali army, backed by the African Union peacekeeping troops, killed at least seven Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday in a fighting at Surayo location, about 15km from Burdhubo town in the southern Somali region of Gedo, a local official said.

Aden Muhumed Ahmed, a security official in the area, told reporters that the joint forces were “in full control of the area at the moment,” but two soldiers of the Somali army were killed and another one was injured in the fighting.

“Al-Shabaab militants ordered locals to pay large amounts of money which they can’t afford; the residents informed us that they were facing threats and pressure from the militants and we responded to their demand and took action on the terrorists today,” he said.

The Islamist Al-Shabaab group controls some areas of southern Somalia, and frequently carries out attacks in the country in its insurgency against the government

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