A suicide bomber attacked a military base housing African Union soldiers and Somali troops on Saturday about 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the capital Mogadishu, a Somali military official told AFP.
"There was a suicide attack on a military camp in Afgoye, where we are getting initial reports that a car laden with explosives was detonated near Bar Osmail military base, but we have no details so far," Abdukadir Mohamed said.
Muhidin Adan, an Afgoye resident, said: "It was a very loud explosion and smoke was rising up from the camp, but we don't know about casualties. The area was sealed off by the army."
The African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia is set to number about 15,000 with the integration of Kenyan troops sent by Nairobi separately to counter Shebab rebels linked to Al-Qaeda.
Somalia's disparate leaders are struggling to form a government to replace the weak and corrupt Western-backed transitional body in Mogadishu, which is preparing to hand over power by an August 20 deadline.
Since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia has been variously governed by ruthless warlords and militia groups, each controlling their own limited fiefdoms.© ANP/AFP