MOGADISHU, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army(SNA)'s Special Forces(Danab) on Thursday killed three al-Shabab militants including the group's head of tax collection in southern Somalia, an official said.
Ismail Abdimalik Malin, SNA's Danab commander, told the state-owned Somali News Agency that the forces conducted a special operation aiming at rooting out the threat of terrorist militants at Lego location near Walaweyn town in Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, noting it was very successful.
"We conducted a very successful operation against terrorists at Lego location this morning, we have killed the head of al-Shabab for tax collection and two other members who were with him, we also recovered their weapons," Malin said.
He said this was a response to complaints from people and drivers using the main road in that region linking the capital Mogadishu to southwest regions.
There was no immediate comment from the militant group about the loss of their fighters during the operation in the region.
Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forced al-Shabab extremists out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in southern and central Somalia, conducting ambushes and planting land mines.