Heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants have launched a daring overnight attack on Somali military barracks in Daynunay, situated some 30Km east of Baidoa city, residents said.

The militant group said in a statement that its fighters seized control of the town after overpowering the government forces who have been controlling the area for years.

Speaking to Radio Shabelle, Nuradin Yusuf Abukar claimed government soldiers have killed at least five Al-Shabaab members and wounded 10 others during the gun battle.

The sources said that Somali troops retreated to a nearby area after the attack.

The situation of the area was reported to be tense and villagers say fighting could erupt at any time as the forces are regrouping outside for a counter-attack to retake the town.

Al-Shabaab has intensified attacks against Somali government-held areas in the south and central regions of the Horn of Africa nation since the start of the Holy month of Ramadan.