Fighters belonging to the radical group al-Shabaab on Monday killed at least 10 Somali government soldiers, including a senior commander, a military source said.
Fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and tanks attacked an army base near Afgoye about 30 kilometres north-west of Mogadishu, according to a commander who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The fatalities included senior commander Mohamed Khalif, the source added.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on pro-insurgent Andalus radio, saying only the government side had suffered casualties.
About 8,000 Somali government troops are battling al-Shabaab with the backing of some 22,000 African Union troops. The conflict has lasted nearly a decade and claimed thousands of lives. SAPA