An Al-Shabaab attack killed seven soldiers Friday at 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 a senior special forces commander was among those killed after the Islamist militants stormed the base in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres (230 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
More than 100 fighters from the Al-Qaeda affiliated group were killed, it added.
“There was heavy fighting there in which the (jihadists) were defeated,” the ministry said.
“Seven soldiers among them a military commander from the Danab brigade (an elite commando unit) were martyred in the fighting and the site is now under the full control of the Somali forces.”
Al-Shabaab said it was behind the attack and claimed a large number of casualties.
“The Shabaab gunmen blasted two trucks loaded with explosives before face-to-face fighting started,” Abdilahi Rage, a resident of Galcad said by telephone.
“They briefly managed to push back the troops out of the camp, but reinforcements came and they have retreated.”