Seven people, including the preparators and Somali soldiers, were killed in a car bomb explosion targeting a military convoy carrying officials from the United Arab Emirates, Somali police reported on Wednesday. Al Shabab, an armed group operating in Somalia and other African countries, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
"The suicide car bomb hit a military car. So far three people were killed, including civilians. Seven others were injured and rushed to hospital," Major Farah Abdikadir, a police officer, told Reuters.
Abdul Aziz Abu Mosaab, the spokesman for Al Shabab's military operations, took responsibility for the attack and told Reuters that the group “targeted an enemy delegation from the UAE and we cause losses for them and their forces.”
"The car bomb targeted UAE trainers in a bulletproof car. They are all safe," captain Afrah told Reuters.
"The incident took place near the military hospital where UAE trains Somali military. Three Somali military who were on the military pick up died and several other civilians who were passing by were injured," he added.
On Sunday, Al Shabab militants also launched a heavy attack on a military base in Mogadishu, targeting a training centre for intelligence officials.
Four Al Shabab fighters were killed but government forces did not suffer any casualties during the attack, Somalia’s internal security ministry said. The group's fighters said they killed more than 10 intelligence officials.
Another attack executed by Al Shabab on Saturday on Afgoi near the country’s capital Mogadishu killed eight officers. In addition to the killings they stole three pickup trucks, one of which had a machine gun mounted on it.
Al Shabab have in the past stepped up the number of raids during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began on Wednesday.
"Operations will continue with or without Ramadan," Abu Musab, Al Shabab's spokesman for military operations, told Reuters earlier.
"However, it is more rewarding to operate in Ramadan."
An AMISOM and Somali army offensive last year pushed Al Shabab’s insurgency out of major strongholds, yet the group still control some rural areas and conducts regular attacks in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, which also has forces in AMISOM.