MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb explosion at a military base in Somalia injured seven soldiers late Saturday, a military official said, and Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Al Shabaab fights to topple Somalia’s western-backed central government and impose its a rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islam’s Sharia law.
Major Hussein Ali, a Somali military officer told Reuters the attack took place at a military base just outside the town of Kismayu in Southern Somalia.
“We fired (at) the suicide car bomb before it entered the base. It exploded outside the base. Only seven Somali soldiers were injured,” Ali said.
The assault was on the same base where a U.S. soldier was killed in an attack late on Friday.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack and said they killed 40 Somali soldiers.
“We killed 40 Somali soldiers in the base,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters.
Al Shabaab is also fighting to drive out African Union mandated peace keeping force AMISOM.
“The foreign forces ran away from the base this morning because we attacked them on Friday. We targeted the Somali forces who were in the base,” he added.
Abdullahi Ismail, a resident in the area where the attack occurred told Reuters he saw five casualties being taken to a local hospital.
(This version of the story refiles to correct spelling of Shabaab in first paragraph)
Reporting by Feisal Omar and Abdi sheikh; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; and Nick Zieminski