Official: Islamist militants kill 12 soldiers in semiautonomous Puntland region of Somalia

An official says militants have attacked an army post in northeastern Somalia, killing 12 soldiers in one of the deadliest attacks in recent months by the al-Qaida-linked group.

The attack occurred in Galgala Mountains, in the semiautonomous Puntland region, where al-Shabab militants are trying to expand their influence.

A Puntland official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with the press, said Wednesday that militants attacked the post and blew up a roadside bomb on Tuesday night, killing the soldiers.

Al-Shabab militants have been pushed out of their key strongholds in southern and central Somalia by African Union forces. The Somali government says the militants are consolidating in Galgala.