Six Somali government soldiers and 19 militants were killed when Islamist group al-Shabab attacked two bases before dawn Friday, according to officials and residents.
Local security officials and residents told VOA Somali that the attackers targeted a Somali government military base in Haji Ali village, near the Indian Ocean coastal town of Addale, in Middle Shabelle region.
Somali government forces at the base responded to the attack, sparking a deadly gun battle.
Local sources said five government soldiers were killed, including a military commander. The Somali National Army Headquarters, in a statement, put the death toll at four soldiers, with two others injured.
The statement said 15 al-Shabab militants were killed and 26 were injured.
Al-Shabab said its fighters overran the base and seized weapons and vehicles.
Separately, one government soldier and four militants were killed in another al-Shabab attack Friday in the town of Hosingow, Lower Juba region.