Somalia al-Shabaab attack
People run past the burning wreckage of a car at the scene of a car bomb attack in Hodan district in the capital MogadishuFeisal Omar/Reuters

Several soldiers were killed after Somali al-Shabaab militants attacked an army base on Sunday, 28 June.

The offensive has come within days of an earlier onslaught, in which the al-Qaeda linked insurgents raided an African Union's (AU) military establishment killing numerous soldiers.

Some troop members who were captured by the extremists were beheaded, according to the AFP.

"There were machine guns and rockets, and the fighting ended when the soldiers were overpowered," a witness, who recounted seeing at least nine dead bodies, told the news agency.

Local reports suggest that heavy gunfire had lasted for several hours.

Somali security forces have been witnessing a wave of attacks by militants, who have recently vowed to uproot the government by 2016.

On Friday, 26 June, the Islamists stormed the Leego base in southern Somalia killing as many as 80 soldiers. The militants claimed to have brought back 60 dead bodies of the soldiers. The death toll remains unverified as the AU confirmed only the assault and not the death toll.

"Al-Shabaab has consistently shown its ability to strike in urban areas and regroup in rural bases. It will take much longer to defeat the group and require Somalia's security services to be significantly improved," Ahmed Soliman, Horn of Africa analyst at the London-based Chatham House, told the Bloomberg news.