At least 15 army recruits have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a military training camp in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.
Army officer Mohamed Adan said the bomber behind Tuesday’s attack was disguised among recruits queueing up outside the General Dhegobadan Military Camp when the explosion occurred.
“I have counted about 15 new recruits who have been killed in the blast,” Adan said, adding that the death toll could be higher.
The injured people were taken to Mogadishu’s Madina Hospital, according to the Reuters news agency.
Al Shabaab’s radio Al Andalus said the armed group’s fighters carried out the attack, the deadliest in 18 months.
Soldiers, military facilities, security checkpoints and hotel are among common targets for al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-aligned rebel group fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.
In December 2019, 81 people were killed by a suicide car bomber at a checkpoint in the city centre, while the last significant assault on a hotel killed 11 in August 2020.
Somalia has been mired in interlocking crises for the last 30 years, with repeated bouts of civil war, clan conflict, armed rebellion, famine and political instability.
Al-Shabaab rose to prominence in 2006. Despite the long deployment of African Union peacekeepers it remains a potent force even though it has lost much of the territory it once controlled.