THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Monday, November 2, 2015, 5:18 PM
A burning car is seen near the damaged Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu after an explosion.
NAIROBI, Kenya — At least 15 government soldiers were killed in an ambush by fighters from the Somali Islamic extremist rebel group al-Shabab, one day after the same group of extremists killed a dozen people in an attack in the capital, a military official said Monday.
The ambush happened late Monday near Walaweyn, a town in the Lower Shabelle region, about 93 kilometers (57.79 miles)south of Mogadishu, said Col. Ahmed Muse of the Somali military.
The rebels seized three military vehicles during the attack, he told The Associated Press by phone from Walaeyn.
At least 12 people were killed in the Somali capital on November 1 after Shebab gunmen used a vehicle packed with explosives to blast their way inside a hotel, police said. The Al-Qaeda linked Shebab claimed responsibility for the dawn attack at the Sahafi hotel, which is popular with members of parliament, government employees and businessmen.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the group’s online radio known as Andalus, saying 30 soldiers had been killed. It wasn’t possible to independently verify the group’s claims.
On Sunday, Islamic extremists attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 12 people and injuring many others before all the assailants were killed by security forces.
A man stands near the damaged Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu after an explosion.
The Sahafi Hotel is often frequented by Somali government officials and business executives, and had been targeted before. Two French security advisers were abducted from the hotel by militants in 2009.
Despite being forced out of Mogadishu and many other cities and towns across Somalia, al-Shabab continues to launch lethal attacks in the capital and elsewhere. Al-Shabab is fighting to oust the Mogadishu government and install a strict version of Shariah law.
Al-Shabab has also attacked neighboring countries that have sent troops to support the Mogadishu government. The extremist rebels killed 148 people in an attack on a college in Garissa, Kenya, in April.