At least 15 people were killed on Tuesday in a suicide bombing in the Somali capital that targeted recruits who were lined up outside an army camp, a Reuters witness who counted the bodies at Madina Hospital said.
Officials at the hospital confirmed that the bodies were those killed in an attack at a checkpoint outside the General Degaban military training camp in Mogadishu.
Al Shabaab’s radio Al Andalus said the Islamist group’s fighters carried out the attack.
Al Shabaab, which wants to unseat the government and impose its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, frequently carries out such bombings.
Dozens of people crowded outside Madina Hospital searching for their missing relatives.
“My son is dead. I have seen with my eyes. Many boys perished. They were asked to come for recruitment and then bombed. The government is still hiding other casualties,” said Amina Farah, sobbing into the arms of family members.
Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Army recruit Ahmed Ali, who was struck in the head by shrapnel, told Reuters at the hospital: “The place was overcrowded with new recruits and soldiers when the blast occurred.”
Military officer Odawaa Yusuf Rage had told state media earlier on Tuesday at least 10 new recruits had been killed and 20 others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated explosives.