Somali military officer says al Shabaab militants ambushed troops early Sunday in Bula Marer district, about 140 kilometres from Mogadishu. Meanwhile, a car bomb blast near a police station in Mogadishu claims six lives.
The death toll from fighting on Sunday between al Shabaab fighters, Somalia's government and African Union peacekeeping troop stands at 24, a senior regional official said.
The fighting broke out when the al Shabaab militants ambushed the troops early Sunday in the Bula Marer district of the Lower Shabelle region, about 140 kilometres (84 miles) southwest of Mogadishu. Somali military officer Colonel Muhyadin Yasin says fighters with Al Shabaab militant group ambushed a military convoy.
"We have carried 23 dead AMISOM soldiers and a dead Somali soldier from the scene where al Shabaab ambushed AMISOM today," Ali Nur, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters.
Al Shabaab is claiming that the attack killed 39 soldiers.
At least six people were killed in a car bomb that ripped through a busy road in Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday.
Police said the death toll could rise as the explosion also left 20 more wounded.
The bomb went off on Maka al Mukaram Road, police said, while a witness said the blast was followed by big clouds of smoke visible in the sky.
"So far we know six civilians died and 20 others were injured. They were mostly pedestrians while others were shopping," Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, said. "Death toll may rise. Most of the injured ones are very serious."
Photographs showed three destroyed cars on the road, with two still burning.
It was not clear who was responsible for the blast.
But the al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab terrorist group often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace.