Seven soldiers were killed in an attack Friday by Al-Shabaab on a military camp in a Somali town retaken by the army this week in a major offensive against the jihadist group, the government said.
The information ministry said that a senior military commander was among those killed after the Islamist militants stormed the camp in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres (230 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
It said more than 100 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed.
“There was heavy fighting there in which the (jihadists) were defeated,” the ministry statement said, adding that “the site is now under the full control of the Somali forces”.
Al-Shabaab said it was behind the attack, claiming its fighters had overrun the camp and killed more than 150 soldiers.
The information could not be independently verified.
“The Shabaab gunmen blasted two trucks loaded with explosives before face-to-face fighting started,” Abdilahi Rage, a resident of Galcad, told AFP by phone.
“They briefly managed to push back the troops out of the camp, but reinforcements came and they have retreated.”
On Tuesday, Al-Shabaab launched a deadly attack on a military base in another part of central Somalia, just a day after the government claimed a “historic victory” over the jihadists with the capture of the strategic coastal town of Haradhere as well as Galcad.