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Somalia suicide bombing leaves five dead,11 injured

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At least five people have been killed and 11 others wounded after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a military training camp in Somalia, the state-run SONNA news agency disclosed.

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The attack on Saturday at the camp in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, was claimed by the al-Shabab armed group and comes a week after twin explosions in the capital that left at least 116 dead.

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SONNA announced the death toll in a Twitter post, citing the Somali National Army Chief Odowaa Yusuf Rageh.

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SONNA said the attack happened at the camp’s entrance and quoted Rageh as saying that Somali troops “thwarted the bomber” from reaching his target.

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Earlier on Saturday, Adan Yare, another military official, told the AFP news agency that the assailant targeted the Xero Nacnac training camp for army recruits.

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“There were some casualties inflicted on both civilians and the new recruits,” he said, adding that investigations were ongoing.

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Witnesses reported seeing several ambulances arrive at the scene of the attack.

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“The army cordoned off the area and it is not possible to get close to the camp but … I saw several ambulances rushing to the scene and coming out with casualties, I cannot say how many,” Mogadishu resident Farah Muse told AFP.

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There was no official statement from the government about the attack.

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Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-allied armed group fighting in Somalia for more than a decade, is seeking to topple the country’s central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Its fighters were driven out of the Somali capital in 2011 by an African Union force. But it still controls swathes of Somalia’s countryside and has stepped up attacks since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office in May and pledged an “all-out war” against the group.

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On Friday, the Somali ministry of information said the army had killed more than 100 al-Shabab fighters in an operation in central Hirshabelle state.

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Last Saturday, fighters carried out twin car bombings targeting the education ministry in the deadliest assault on the country in five years. The attack took place at the same junction where a truck packed with explosives blew up on October 14, 2017, killing 512 people and wounding more than 290, the deadliest attack in Somalia.

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In August, the group launched a 30-hour gun and bomb attack on the popular Hayat hotel in Mogadishu, killing 21 people and wounding 117.

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SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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