A Somali military official says at least 15 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by fighters from the Islamic extremist rebel group al-Shabab.

Col. Ahmed Muse said late Monday that the ambush took place near Walaweyn, a town in Lower Shabelle region, about 93 kilometers (58 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu.

He said the rebels seized three military vehicles during the ambush.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had killed 30 soldiers, but it was impossible to independently verify the group's claims.

The attack comes a day after extremists attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 12 people and injuring many others before they were killed by security forces.