Deadly clashes between Somali troops and al-Shabab

FILE- In this Friday, Jan. 1, 2010, file photo, a young boy leads the hard-line Islamist Al Shabab fighters as they conduct military exercise in northern Mogadishu's Suqaholaha neighborhood, Somalia. The country's continuous violence appears to have increased recruiting efforts of young fighters, minors who can easily be indoctrinated, and Somalia's president has ordered an investigation, a decision welcomed by rights groups on Thursday June 17, 2010. (AP Photo/ Farah Abdi Warsameh/File)

BBC World Service

Military officials in Somalia say at least 10 soldiers have been killed during an operation against al-Shabab militants 30km (18 miles) north-west of the capital, Mogadishu.

An army spokesman said the clash took place in Afgoye district. Four militants were reportedly also killed.

Al-Shabab also issued a statement claiming that 24 soldiers died in the encounter.

The militant group have been trying for 12 years to oust Somalia’s internationally recognised central government and establish its own rule, based on its strict interpretation of Islamic law.