5 Killed at Somalia Military Academy

5 Killed at Somalia Military Academy

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military academy west of Somalia's capital, killing at least five soldiers, said a military officer.

The bomber dressed in a military uniform walked into the Somali military training camp on Monday morning and detonated explosives strapped to his waist near soldiers and officers, said Col. Abdi Hassan.

The bomber, posing as a military trainee, had crossed the gate checkpoint and targeted soldiers and officers resting after their daily military exercises, he said.

Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a separate incident Monday, a government worker was killed after a bomb in his car was detonated by remote control in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district, police say.

Abdikadir Osman, an officer with the education minister immediately died before medics took to a hospital, said Abdiqadir Mohamed, the district commissioner.

Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, has stepped up its campaign of bombings in Mogadishu in recent weeks. New President Mohmed Abdullahi Mohamed has named a new military chief and other officials in an attempt to improve the worsening security situation.

The Somali-American president gave al-Shabab members a 60-day amnesty period to surrender and join the government side.

Al-Shabab has denounced the new president as an "apostate" and warned Somalis against supporting him. The rebels have been pushed out of the capital and other major urban areas in Somalia by national and African Union multinational forces, but they continue to carry out deadly bombings and attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere. Targets have included hotels, military checkpoints and the presidential palace.

The Trump administration approved greater U.S. military authority to pursue al-Shabab, including more aggressive airstrikes as parts of southern Somalia will be considered areas of active hostilities.