A Somali military official says at least 15 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by fighters from the Islamic extremist rebel group al-Shabaab.
Colonel Ahmed Muse said late on Monday that the ambush took place near Walaweyn, a town in Lower Shabelle region, about 93km south of the capital, Mogadishu.
He said the rebels seized three military vehicles during the ambush.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had killed 30 soldiers, but it was impossible to independently verify the group’s claims.
The attack comes a day after extremists attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 12 people and injuring many others before they were killed by security forces.