A number of soldiers were killed during a large-scale attack by Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia on Saturday, according to the country’s military.

The attack began in the morning in the Raaga-Ele district in the volatile Middle Shabelle region around 90 kilometres north-east of the capital Mogadishu.

Tensions remained high in the area as Somali forces and local militias regrouped outside the district to retake it from the militants, Mohamud Dahir, an elder in the nearby town of Adale, told dpa.

Many people had fled their homes during the clashes, he added, though no civilians had so far been reported harmed in the attack.