At least 11 soldiers were killed and several others injured when al-Shabaab militants attacked a military convoy in a village southwest of capital Mogadishu, officials said Sunday.
Ali Nur Mohamed, lower Shabelle region's deputy commissioner, told reporters that heavily armed al-Shabaab militants attacked an African Union peace keeping mission and Somali military convoy near Golweyn village, located 140 kilometers (86 miles) from Mogadishu.
He confirmed 10 soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and one Somali soldier were killed and several others injured in the attack.
Police said the convoy was attacked when it was traveling between Golweyn and Bulo Marer district in the lower Shabelle region.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed that it had killed more than 39 soldiers of the peace mission.
Joe Kibet, the mission's spokesman in Somalia, on the other hand, denied al-Shabaab's claims, saying the morning attack left only two of their soldiers injured.
"The convoy was only a platoon which comprises of less than 39 soldiers. We did not lose a soldier in that attack," Kibet told local media.
Aliyow Adan, a police officer in the region, told Anadolu Agency that fierce fighting took place after al-Shabaab militants ambushed the convoy, and security forces killed more than 8 attackers.
Earlier on Sunday, a car bomb blast near a police station in Mogadishu killed at least five civilians and injured more than 12.
Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre described the bomb attack "as the deadliest attack in a month".
Source: Anadolu Agency