At least 15 people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside a military base in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday, including some in a van that was destroyed, military officials said.
The death toll could rise as a minibus carrying passengers was destroyed in the blast.
“At least 15 people mostly civilians died in the blast,” Major Hussein Nur, a military official, told Reuters.
“We do not know the exact figure of casualties. All the people on board the ruined minibus perished. Soldiers and other private security guards also died,” he said.
The car bomb targeted senior officials leaving the base in a convoy, they said.
The Islamist group al Shabaab was behind the attack, said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations.
“The suicide car bomb was targeting senior military officials but by good luck their car was not hit. Their car turned a minute before the blast,” Major Abdikadir Hussein, a military official, told Reuters.
“A mini-bus carrying civilians was also destroyed. We cannot give the exact figure of casualties, but many civilians died in the attack,” he added.
Witnesses said soldiers opened fire after the blast.