Islamist rebels kill 10 Somali soldiers in attack

The attack highlights the challenge of halting guerrilla-style raids by the group.

FILE: A Somali army soldier looks over a fence during an attack on the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on 24 May, 2014. Picture: AFP.

MOGADISHU - Rebels from the Islamist al-Shabaab group attacked a military base in southern Somalia early on Monday, killing at least 10 soldiers and burning three military vehicles, officials said.

African Union and Somali troops launched an offensive this year that has driven al-Shabaab out of its last major strongholds. Monday's attack highlights the challenge of halting guerrilla-style raids by the al-Qaeda-aligned group.

"Al-Shabaab attacked our military forces at 3am" in the Lower Shabelle region, Somali military officer Aden Nur told Reuters.

"They killed 10 soldiers and burnt two military vehicles [equipped] with anti-aircraft guns."

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab's military spokesman, said the group was behind the attack and said 14 Somali soldiers had been killed. Al-Shabaab often cites a higher death toll than the number given by officials.