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Suicide Blast Hits Somali Army Base, Killing 5


A Somali soldier, left, stands by the wreckage of a minibus that was destroyed in a suicide car bomb attack near the defense ministry compound in Mogadishu, Somalia, April 9, 2017.

A suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest penetrated a fortified Somali National Army base in Mogadishu on Monday, killing at least five soldiers, government military sources told VOA.

The bomber targeted the camp in Mogadishu's Wadajir district, which is one of the largest training camps for the Somali army.

VOA reporter Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle, who visited the scene after the attack, saw several burned cars and bloodstains in front of the camp, an area that had been a parade zone for the soldiers during morning training.

In a separate explosion in the city, Abdulkadir Osman, an official working with the Somali Education Ministry, was killed when an explosive device affixed to his car detonated.

The attacks came a day after the new Somali army chief, General Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid, survived a suicide car bomb attack that killed at least 15 people near his convoy in Mogadishu.

The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mogadishu residents and security experts say the militants have increased their attacks since Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo declared the country is at war with al-Shabab and gave the jihadi group 60 days to surrender in return for education and jobs.