At Least 17 Killed in Somalia Fighting

Posted May 9th, 2012 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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A Somali lawmaker says at least 17 fighters with militant group al-Shabab have been killed in fighting with Ethiopian and Somali government troops.

Parliament member Mohamed Mashru tells VOA the troops attacked an al-Shabab base Wednesday at Agab-Bedey village, near the Somali town of Hudur.

Mashru says he saw the bodies of the al-Shabab fighters lying on the ground after the battle ended.

His account has not been independently confirmed.

Ethiopian troops are in Somalia as part of a multi-nation, three-pronged campaign against al-Shabab.

Kenyan forces have been fighting the group in southern Somalia, while African Union and Somali government forces have pushed the militants out of the capital, Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but has steadily lost ground in the past 18 months.

The militant group, which is allied with al-Qaida, continues to carry out suicide attacks in Mogadishu and retains control of some parts of Somalia.