On March 18, fierce confrontations near the Ethiopian Border between Somali government forces and Islamist rebels left at least fourteen people dead.

Shebab insurgents were attacked by government troops in the southwestern Islamist stronghold of Rabdhure, starting the confrontation.

A Shebab commander, Sheikh Hassan Derow, said the government forces had attacked his group's positions on the outskirts of the town before they were driven back, the AFP reported.

We killed many of them and seized one of their vehicles and burned another, he said. One Shebab fighter was killed, he said, the AFP reported.

The clashes were confirmed by a government official in a nearby town was confirmed but did not give the number of casualties which is also believed to include local workers.