- Witnesses said a large convoy carrying troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), the AU force fighting the militants, was passing through the area when the bomb exploded.
- Al-Shabaab controlled the capital until 2011, when it was driven out by Amisom troops, but it still has territory in the countryside and launches frequent attacks on government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
Eight people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a car bomb near a school in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Thursday, police said, in the latest attack reported by Al-Shabaab jihadists in the troubled country.
“Eight civilians were killed and 17 others were injured in the blast,” Abdifatah Adan, a Somali police spokesman, said in a short statement, without giving further details.
Security official Mohamed Abdillahi told AFP earlier that the explosion was caused by a car bomb that injured 11 students.
“We don’t know the objective of the attack,” he said.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was aimed at “military trainers”.
Witnesses said a large convoy carrying troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), the AU force fighting the militants, was passing through the area when the bomb exploded.
“I was close to the area when the explosion happened; there was a convoy from Amisom … passing by,” Said Ibrahim told AFP.
Witnesses said the bomb caused severe damage to the school and vehicles parked nearby.
“The school building was badly damaged and some of its school buses were destroyed,” Ahmed Bare, a security guard at a nearby building, told AFP.
The director of Mogadishu’s Aamin ambulance service, Abdikadir Abdirahman, shared photos of the rubble-strewn scene on Twitter, calling the bombing “a tragedy.”
Al-Qaeda-linked militants Al-Shabaab regularly carry out attacks in the capital and other parts of the country, most recently against a prominent Somali journalist who was killed in a bomb attack on Saturday. Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, director of the government-owned Radio Mogadishu, was a fierce critic of Islamists.
Al-Shabaab, which has been waging a violent insurgency against the country’s fragile government since 2007, said its fighters had long persecuted the journalist.
The militants also reported two attacks in September that together killed 17 people.
A car bomb on September 25 near the presidential palace killed eight people, including the prime minister’s adviser for women and human rights, Hibaq Abukar.
Eleven days earlier, nine people, most of them members of the Somali security forces, were killed in an explosion near a Mogadishu checkpoint.
Al-Shabaab controlled the capital until 2011, when it was driven out by Amisom troops, but it still has territory in the countryside and launches frequent attacks on government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.