Khalif Issa Mudan, defence minister of the semi-autonomous region, said that ten of his troops “were killed by Alshabaab after a roadside bomb exploded by their vehicle” on the road to the mountainous Galgala area late on Tuesday.
“We killed seven of the Alshabaab… and now our troops are now hunting down the others who carried out the attack,” Mudan said.
The Alshabaab, who claimed to have also raided an army base, said they had killed 29 soldiers, with four of their own fighters killed.
“We attacked a military camp near Bosaso,” Alshabaab spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Musab said, referring to the main port in the region.
Puntland’s President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole last month told Reuters more than 400 al Qaeda-linked fighters were holed up in his territory, a development that could discourage plans for oil exploration in the region.
Alshabaab members have retreated to other regions, including semi-autonomous Puntland, since losing their last strongholds in southern Somalia to African Union and Somali government forces.