Members of the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab. Photo credit/wsj.com

Al Shabaab Islamist militants have rammed a car packed with explosives into a Somali army base southwest of the capital and stormed inside, killing at least 10 soldiers, the group and a military officer said.

“A suicide car bomb rammed into the base and then al Shabaab fighters stormed it. At least 10 soldiers died,” Major Ahmed Farah said from the nearby town of Afgooye.

An al Shabaab spokesman said its fighters were behind the raid and said 30 soldiers had been killed. The group often cites a higher death toll than official figures.

Stories Continues after ad

Meanwhile, the Somali National Army had conducted raids on al Shabaab camps in the lower Shabelle region over the weekend, seizing weapons and other equipment used by the militants, local media reported quoting a statement from the defense ministry.

Bases of the AU-backed mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been a regular target of the al Shabaab militant group which seeks to topple the Western-backed government.

AMISOM fights the Islamists alongside the Somali National Army.

In January, the al Shabaab militia launched an early morning attack on an AMISOM base in the town of El-Adde, near the Ethiopian border. More than 100 Kenyan soldiers were reportedly killed in the dawn attack.