Suspected al-Shabaab militants attacked a Somali military base in the central Galgaduud region on Monday, the defense ministry said, days after the area was captured by government forces.
The army repulsed the attack on the base housing national and local troops in Qayib, a village captured from al Shabaab last week, defense ministry spokesman Abdullahi Ali Anod told the state news agency SONNA.
The attack began with two suicide car bombs at around 0500 local time (0200 GMT), followed by hours of heavy fighting, Ahmed Hassan, a military officer in the nearby town of Bahdo, told Reuters.
It wasn't immediately clear how many people had been killed in the raid, Hassan said.
A spokesman for al Shabaab could not immediately be reached by telephone.
The al Qaeda-linked Islamist group has killed tens of thousands of people since 2006 in their fight to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed central government and implement their interpretation of Islamic law.