Six people including two civilians were killed and nine others wounded in a suicide attack on a military outpost in the outskirts of the Somali capital Mogadishu Saturday, police said.
The attack was claimed by the radical Islamist group Al-Shabab.
Witnesses told AFP a suicide bomber drove a vehicle loaded with explosives to the Ceelasha-Biyaha military post in the western suburbs of Mogadishu. The subsequent powerful blast caused extensive damage, including to nearby homes, they said.
“The Kharijites (Al-Shabab), as they usually do, tried to bring a vehicle loaded with explosives and metal into Mogadishu,” said Somali police spokesman Sadik Dudishe.
“But after they were denied access, they have detonated the vehicle on the base of the security forces at the Ceelasha-Biyaha,” he added.
“The number of the casualties recorded is six dead — four of them from the security forces and two civilians — and nine wounded, four of them civilians.”
One witness, Mohamed Sharif, said he had seen the bodies of five civilians.
“I was riding in a minibus very close to the area of the explosion,” he said. “We were very lucky none of the passengers of the bus was hurt.”
“I saw the dead bodies of five civilians including an elderly man,” he added.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabab has been waging an insurgency against the internationally backed Somali government since 2007 to establish Islamic law in the Horn of Africa country.
Driven out of major cities in 2011-2012, they remain in large rural areas in the country’s center and north, from where they regularly carry out attacks against security, political and civilian targets.
Elected in May 2022, President Hassan Sheik Mohamoud declared an “all-out war” against al-Shabaab.
Government forces and clan militias, backed by African Union forces and US airstrikes, have been conducting a military offensive in central Somalia for more than a year, reclaiming territory.
Despite setbacks, Al-Shabab has continued to carry out deadly attacks.