Somali authorities say troops have stormed a school run by al Shabaab and rescued 32 children who had been taken as recruits by the Islamist militant group.
"The 32 children are safe and the government is looking after them. It is unfortunate that terrorists are recruiting children to their twisted ideology," Abdirahman Omar Osman, information minister for the Somali federal government, told Reuters on Friday.
Al Shabaab said government forces, accompanied by drones, attacked the school in Middle Shabelle region. It said four children and a teacher were killed.
No comment was immediately available from the Somali government on the reports of casualties or the use of drones.
The al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militia is fighting to topple the UN-backed Somali government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islam's sharia law.