MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 14 (UPI) -- African Union forces in Somalia say they killed 25 al-Shabab militants who attacked a district in the country's south.
Five soldiers and two civilians also died in the five-hour attack Monday on Rage Celle, Xinhua news agency quoted Mayor Yusuf Haji Mohamod as saying.
Government troops and AU forces repulsed the assault and "the situation is under control," the mayor said.
The attack comes after al-Shabab last week claimed responsibility for two coordinated attacks that killed five people at hotels in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu.
The militants are also suspected of killing 14 people and injuring 11 July 7 in Kenya near the northeastern border with Somalia.
Al-Shabab is an al-Qaida-affiliated militant Islamic group that took over most of southern Somalia in 2006 before its military defeat by Somali and Ethiopian forces the following year. In 2008, the United States branded the group a foreign terrorist organization.
The militants have stepped up attacks against Somali government and AU forces, as well as civilian targets, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which lasts from June 17 to July 17.
Al-Shabab has conducted numerous attacks in neighboring Kenya, which in 2011 deployed military forces to Somalia to battle the group.
Last month the Kenyan Defense Force said it killed 11 al-Shabab militants and lost two of its own soldiers when the extremists attacked a military base near the country's northern coast.
In April, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on Garissa University College in Kenya, which resulted in the deaths of at least 147 people.