MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide bomber wearing army uniform killed at least nine soldiers at a camp in Somalia’s capital on Monday, authorities said, and a government official was killed by a bomb planted in his car.
Al Qaeda-linked insurgent group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the military training camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
“An armed suicide bomber with an explosive jacket entered the camp and blew up himself after firing at the soldiers,” police officer Nur Hussein said.
A military colonel, asking not to be named, told Reuters: “The suicide bomber blew himself up minutes after the training. At least nine soldiers died and a dozen others were injured.
“Some of the injured ones are in serious condition. It is not easy to prevent a militant in military uniform who wants to kill himself.”
In another part of the city, a car bomb killed a civil servant, said a spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor, Abdifatah Omar Halane.
On Sunday, an al Shabaab car bomb outside a Mogadishu army base killed at least 15 people.
The group has stepped up its attacks to challenge the new government after President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed gave a speech in military uniform declaring “war” on the insurgency.
Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew authoritarian leader Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
In many parts of the country, the conflict has exacerbated the effects of a severe regional drought. The U.N. says more than half the population of 12 million will need aid by July.
Additional reporting by Feisal Omar; Writing by Duncan Miriri and Katharine Houreld; Editing by Andrew Roche