In a bombing claimed by Al-Shabaab in Somalia’s capital, eight people were killed.
A car bombing near a school in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu killed eight people and injured more than a dozen others on Thursday, authorities said, in the latest attack claimed by Al-Shabaab extremists in the turbulent country.
“The blast killed eight civilians and injured 17 others,” Somalia’s police spokesman, Abdifatah Adan, said in a terse statement, without providing any specifics.
The blast was caused by a car bomb, according to security officer Mohamed Abdillahi, who told AFP earlier that 11 students were hurt.
“We don’t know who the attackers are,” he stated.
The explosion was claimed by Al-Shabaab, who said it was directed at “military trainers.”
Witnesses reported the explosion went off as a big convoy carrying troops from AMISOM, the African Union force combating the extremists, passed through the region.
“I was near the area when the blast happened, and an AMISOM convoy was passing by,” Said Ibrahim told AFP.
The explosive, according to witnesses, did extensive damage to the school and neighboring vehicles.
According to Ahmed Bare, a security officer at an adjacent building, “the school building was substantially damaged and some of their school buses were destroyed.”
Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance service, posted photographs of the rubble-strewn scene on Twitter, calling the attack “a catastrophe.”
Al-Qaeda-affiliated extremists carry out regular attacks in the capital and around the country, most recently killing a prominent Somali journalist in a blast on Saturday.
The director of government-owned Radio Mogadishu, Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, was a vocal opponent of the Islamists.
Al-Shabaab, which has been fighting the country’s shaky government since 2007, said its fighters had been after the journalist for a long time.
In September, the extremists claimed responsibility for two attacks that killed a total of 17 people.
On September 25, a car bomb outside the presidential palace killed eight people, including Hibaq Abukar, the prime minister’s counsellor for women and human rights.
A blast near a Mogadishu checkpoint killed nine persons, the majority of them were members of Somalia’s security forces, eleven days prior.
Al-Shabaab held the capital until 2011, when AMISOM soldiers drove it out, but it still retains territory in the countryside and strikes government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere on a regular basis.