Atleast eight persons have been reported dead and over 14 others suffering varying degrees of injuries after a huge blast rocked a military base beside a stadium in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.
The explosion, perpetrated by al Shabaab terrorist group, forced many residents to scamper for safety to avoid sustaining injuries during the blast.
After the explosion on Saturday, soldiers opened fire at the militants, an action that sent clouds of smoke into the sky and further attracted panic among residents.
An eyewitness, Halima Abdisalan, a mother of three who lives a few meters away from the scene, said: “We ran indoors in fear. Soon I could see a military pickup speeding and carrying many soldiers covered with blood. I do not know if they were all dead or injured.”
An Army officer, Major Abdullahi Mohamud, confirmed that the explosion was an attack perpetrated by a terrorist group that aimed to raid the military base, saying, it must be a suicide car bomb, I am now transporting casualties.
Claiming responsibility for the incident, the military operation’s spokesman of the al Shabaab group, Abdiasis Abu Musab, disclosed that several military vehicles used for personnel movement were destroyed during the attack.
“We conducted a successful martyrdom operation on a major apostate military base in Mogadishu. The enemy suffered many casualties and wounded, military vehicles destroyed.”
Somalia has been embroiled in deadly violence since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew leader Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
Since 2008, al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-recognized central government and establish its rule based on its own interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.