Heavy fighting is underway in central Somalia after al-Shabab militants attacked military bases in Mudug region.
Eyewitnesses have told the BBC they heard heavy gunfire and explosions at dawn on Wednesday.
The attack reportedly began with a suicide bombing, targeting government special forces.
Galmudug Security Minister Mohamed Abdi Aden told the BBC that troops are still battling the militants in Aad village, where the military bases are located.
The Somali National News Agency (Sonna) reports that the army, with the help of locals, thwarted the attack, “inflicting heavy losses on terrorists”.
But al-Shabab said it seized the five military bases and killed dozens of soldiers.
The Somali federal forces have since August 2022 been conducting a major offensive against the al-Qaeda-linked group.