Two car bombs have killed several people and flattened houses in central Somalia’s Hiraan region on Wednesday, security officials and witnesses said.

“We were awoken this morning by two huge explosions,” Ahmed Nur, a local elder, told Reuters. “We have seen many houses levelled to the ground.

At least 10 people died including civilians, soldiers and Macawisley [militia] fighters.” he added. There were varying counts by militiamen and local officials.

Farah Abdullahi, a spokesman for the local Mahas district, also said the blasts killed at least 10 people. Local security official Abdullahi Adan told AFP nine people had died in the explosions.

The al-Qaeda affiliate has been waging a rebellion against Somalia’s government since 2007. Al-Shabab is claiming responsibility for two car bombs in Hiraan after it was pushed out of the region.

It was pushed out of Hiraan last year by government forces and allied clan militias known as Macawisley but has continued to stage attacks.

Mahas District Commissioner Mumin Mohamed Halane told state radio that one bomb targeted his house and the other hit the home of a federal lawmaker.