At least 14 Somali soldiers were killed and more than 20 others wounded on Saturday in suicide attack by Shebab rebels in southern Somalia, officials and witnesses said.
The attack occurred inside a former university building on the outskirts of Kismayo, where African Union peacekeepers from Kenya and Somali soldiers are stationed, officials said.
“A minibus loaded with explosives was detonated inside the training part of the military camp. Fourteen soldiers were confirmed dead and more than 20 wounded,” Mohamed Abisalad, a Somali military official in Kismayo, told our correspondent.
“The incident is still being investigated to establish how the suicide bomber managed to pass by several checkpoints outside the camp,” he added.
Witnesses said the wounded soldiers were admitted to Kismayo’s main hospital. Eyewitness Adan Hussein also said at least 10 soldiers died in the attack.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab said it carried out the attack, and claimed the death toll was significantly higher than reported.
“One hundred apostate militia were killed in an operation carried out by one of the brave Mujahedeen suicide attackers who drove his vehicle through the enemy inside a training camp and detonated. May Allah accept him,” the group said in a statement.
The group is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.