The militants were killed about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Tuesday night, the minister said on Wednesday.
The African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) also announced on Wednesday that its troops had killed seven militants of the al-Shabaab group, wounding a dozen others. Somalia has been experiencing violence since the country devolved into civil war in the early 1990s.
The state’s collapse provided a breeding ground for warlords, pirates and the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group. The AMISOM was deployed in the country in 2007.