Troops managed to “fend off two car bombs and a gun raid,” but three people died in the attack in Awdheegle district, about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) from the city, regional army official Hussain Barre told CNN.
The attack happened hours after Somali state-run media reported that Al-Shabaab’s spokesman, Sheikh Ali Dheere, was wounded Sunday during a military operation in Awdheegle.
Al-Shabaab is a Somali group that the United States in 2008 designated as a foreign terrorist organization. It aims to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
The group has claimed to have carried out several recent attacks targeting top government officials and public places in Somalia, though CNN has not been able to independently confirm the assertions.