MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A suicide car bomb has targeted an army base in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region, killing at least 8 soldiers and wounding many others, in the latest attack by militants trying to topple the western backed federal government based in the capital Mogadishu.
A vehicle packed with explosives was rammed into a military camp in the town of Biyo Adde early on Friday morning and a plume of block smoke rising over the base was seen, in what residents have described as the largest explosion the small town has so far witnessed since it was taken by allied African Union and Somali troops several years ago.
At least 8 soldiers were killed in the “cowardly terrorist assault” and more than 10 others wounded, a senior military official in the town said.
Among the wounded was Colonel Saney Abdulle, commander of the troops targeted by the bombing, he told Somaliguardian on the condition of anonymity.
“Dozens of military vehicles racing with reinforcements have arrived in Biyo-Adde immediately” after the explosion to take part in the rescue operation, collect dead bodies and provide medical treatment to the wounded soldiers, he said.
Somalia’s army chief General Odowa Yusuf Rage said only four soldiers were wounded in the blast and there were no deaths, though witnesses who saw the attack happen, say a number of dead bodies were taken from the base.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group Al-Shabaab said it had carried out the explosion and killed 10 soldiers, a figure which has not yet confirmed by the federal government.
It is the second suicide blast to take place in southern Somalia within three days as the federal government moves ahead with efforts to beef up security before polls scheduled to be held in 60 days. An unidentified attacker detonated an explosive vest among crowd of recruits who had lined up outside a military recruiting station in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 50 others.
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