File Photo: Kenya soldiers at the Westgate Mall trying to flush out terrorists.

Somali National Army soldiers, some pretending to hold a weapon, take part in a training exercise on March 28, 2013, at the AMISOM Jazeera Training Camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

Somali security forces killed seven members of al-Shabab militants on Thursday in an operation in Garbaharey, a town in Somalia’s southern region of Gedo, a government official confirmed on Friday.

Adam Abdi Hirsi, the operational commander of Garbaharey, said that the army got intelligence of the militants’ presence in villages near the town.

“Our forces advanced to areas where the militants were hiding and we killed seven al-Shabab fighters during a fierce confrontation with the militants,’’ said Hirsi.

The latest incident came amid sustained operations by Somali army against al-Shabab fighters in central and southern regions.

The militants are still in control of the rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.