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In Somalia 15 killed as military clash with al Shabaab

Militants attacked a Somali military base outside the town of Diinsoor, Mohamed Abdirahman told newsmen on telephone.

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Members of Somalia's Al Shabaab militant group parade during a demonstration to announce their integration with al Qaeda, in Elasha, south of the capital Mogadishu February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Feisal Omar play Members of Somalia's Al Shabaab militant group parade during a demonstration to announce their integration with al Qaeda, in Elasha, south of the capital Mogadishu February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Feisal Omar (Reuters)

No fewer than 15 people were killed in clashes between Somali troops and al Shabaab insurgents in the south-west of the country on Thursday, a senior military official said.

Militants attacked a Somali military base outside the town of Diinsoor, Mohamed Abdirahman told newsmen on telephone.

"Among the dead were 11 Islamist insurgents and four government soldiers," Abdirahman said.

Meanwhile, al Shabaab claimed on pro-insurgent Radio, Andalus, that it had killed more than 15 Somali soldiers in the clashes.

In a separate attack on Thursday, a car bombing in the capital Mogadishu killed a senior Somali intelligence officer, security official Mohamed Hassan told newsmen.

The officer, Mohamed Gardhuub, was seriously wounded when the bomb planted in his car went off, and died in hospital hours later.

Two civilians were also wounded in the blast, witnesses and officials said.

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