The militant group al-Shabaab has launched attacks on Somali military forces in Lower Shabelle region, Somali regional officials said.
The attacks in the early hours of Saturday, around 4 a.m. local time, targeted military bases in the towns of Barire and Awdhegle in southern Somalia.
The forward operating bases are manned by the Somali military to protect several bridges along the Shabelle river that authorities say are key to keeping vehicles carrying explosives from entering Mogadishu.
Attacks started off with suicide car bombs on both bases, followed by infantry attack, regional officials said.
Speaking to VOA’s Somali Service, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Siidi, the governor of Lower Shabelle region, confirmed the attacks. Siidi said the militants fired mortars on the nearby villages of Sabiid and Anole.