USA

Suicide Bomber at Somalia Military Training Camp Kills Recruits

WASHINGTON - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military training camp in the south of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, early Tuesday.

Two security sources told VOA Somali that a man disguised as a military recruit detonated a suicide vest.

The bomber mingled with aspiring military recruits at the entrance of the camp, said a military officer who did not want to be identified because he has no permission to speak to media.

“It happened at the road in front of the camp, not inside,” the officer said.

A Somali government source says at least 10 army recruits were killed and others wounded, including some with severe injuries.  

A Somali lawmaker and former Minister of Security Abdirizak Omar Mohamed tweeted that casualties from the bombing were over 20.

The training camp is named after General Abdikarim Yusuf Dhagabadan, a former deputy army commander who led the offensive that forced al-Shabab to retreat from Mogadishu in August 2011. Dhagabadan was killed in an al-Shabab attack on a Mogadishu hotel in November 2015. 

Meanwhile, a military court in Puntland state of Somalia upheld the death sentences of 17 men convicted of al-Shabab membership and terrorism. An 18th convict was sentenced to life imprisonment. 

The court accused them of carrying out assassinations and explosion attacks in Puntland over several years. 

The court said the men confessed to the alleged terrorism crimes.  However relatives said the confessions were forced. 

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