A suicide bomber targeted a military training facility Saturday evening in the southern part of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing or wounding several people.
Security officials, who spoke by phone with VOA on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media, said the attack took place near the General Dhagabadan military camp and that military recruits were among the dead.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying its suicide bomber killed 100 soldiers.
Local media said about 15 people were killed.
“There were some casualties inflicted on both civilians and the new recruits,” military official Adan Yare told AFP, adding that investigations were ongoing.
Somali state-run news agency SONNA said the blast occurred at the facility’s entrance and also indicated civilians were among the casualties.
There was no official statement from the government about the attack.
Locals hear explosions
Several residents of the capital told VOA they heard explosions in different parts of the city, which are believed to be mortar attacks after the suicide bombing.
The suicide blast comes a day after the Somali National Army and local clan militias say they killed at least 100 militants in an operation that took place on the outskirts of the town of Adan-yabal in the Middle Shabelle region.
Somalia has been grappling with security threats for years, with al-Shabab Islamists being one of the main threats in the country.
The militants have increased their attacks since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May and vowed an “all-out war” against al-Shabab.
Last Saturday, al-Shabab’s twin bombings in the capital Mogadishu claimed the lives of more than 100 people and wounded more than 300 others.
Some information for this report was provided by Agence France-Presse.