A military campaign launched last year by the army and
allied clan-based militias in central Somalia seized significant swathes of land from al-Shabaab.
Although government forces captured several major
towns, al-Shabaab reclaimed some of the lost territory and conducted deadly raids on military bases.
Last month, Somalia's government asked the United Nations to pause a planned drawdown of 3,000 African Union peacekeepers due to "several significant setbacks" on the battlefield.
"We killed al-Shabaab like flies, but when we tried to take
the weapons from their dead, hidden snipers took out our men," Nur said.
killed, while 55 al Shabaab fighters died, he added.
The current phase of the offensive against al-Shabaab focuses on central Somalia. The government promises a second phase that will go after the group in its strongholds in the country's south, where analysts say the group will be even harder to defeat.