Al Shabaab insurgents on Sunday killed 15 soldiers and retook a town northeast of the capital, Mogadishu.
Military sources said this happened a day after it had fallen to government forces.
The Islamist group, which intends to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, said it had killed 32 soldiers in the assault, Reuters reports.
It was a fierce battle and thank Allah, we recaptured the town.
BREAKING: At least 23 govt soldiers were killed after Al-Shabab militants attacked Ruunirgood town in Middle Shabelle region, Sun: sources— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) May 1, 2016
Although it is not possible to verify the death toll, al Shabaab has inflated casualty figures in the past.
“The attack happened early Sunday morning in the town of Runirgood, about 180 km to the north east of Magadishu,” Captain Nur Ali said.
Military officer, Abdullahi Omar said al Shabaab used a suicide car bomb to penetrate a military base.
He added that it exploded and led to a fierce fight and resulted in the death of 15 soldiers.
“The soldiers (at the base) were few and there were no AMISOM or other military nearby for reinforcement. We killed more than 10 militants in fighting on Saturday and Sunday” he said.
Residents of Runirgood said they had seen dead bodies of both al Shabaab and government soldiers in the town.
Al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations,Abdiasis Abu Musab said its fighters had killed 32 soldiers and captured three vehicles.
“It was a fierce battle and thank Allah, we recaptured the town,“he said
Somalia’s government is battling to rebuild the Horn of Africa nation after more than two decades of conflict.
Al Shabaab ruled large parts of Somalia until 2011, when it was driven out of Mogadishu by African Union and Somali troops.