, MOGADISHU, Somalia, Aug 23 – At least 18 people were killed in Somalia on Saturday in two bomb attacks carried out by suspected Shabaab militants in the south of the country and the capital Mogadishu, officials said.
In the first attack, a suicide bomber drove a vehicle laden with explosives into a base on the outskirts of the southern city of Kismayu, where African Union peacekeepers from Kenya as well as Somali government soldiers are stationed.
In a second attack late Saturday, at least four civilians died when a car bomb went off near a police station in Mogadishu, officials said.
“A minibus loaded with explosives was detonated inside the training part of the military camp,” Mohamed Abisalad, a Somali military official in Kismayu, told AFP.
“Fourteen soldiers were confirmed dead and more than 20 wounded,” he added.
Witnesses said the wounded soldiers were admitted to Kismayu’s main hospital. Eyewitness Adan Hussein also said at least 10 soldiers died in the attack.
In the Mogadishu attack, police official Abdullah Osoble said four people were killed and at least 10 others were wounded when a car bomb went off near a police station and also a settlement used by displaced persons.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab said it carried out the Kismayu attack, and said the death toll was significantly higher than reported — claiming that 100 “apostate militia”, the term it uses for Somali government troops, died.
The Shabaab said in a statement the attack was “carried out by one of the brave Mujahedeen suicide attackers who drove his vehicle through the enemy inside a training camp and detonated.”
The Islamists are fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.