New Somalia army chief escapes car bomb; 13 killed
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New Somalia army chief escapes car bomb; 13 killed

Local al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab claims credit for car bomb attack in Mogadishu after swearing-in

Illustrative: People stand at the site of a car bomb near a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu on April 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohamed Abdiwahab)
Illustrative: People stand at the site of a car bomb near a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu on April 5, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s new military chief survived a suicide car bomb attack on Sunday that killed 13 people, police say.

General Mohamed Ahmed Jimale had just been sworn into office and was traveling in a convoy with senior military officials when the bomb exploded near Somalia’s defense ministry compound in Mogadishu, police say.

Five soldiers and at least 8 civilians travelling in a passing minibus were killed, said Captain Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somali police officer.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A huge cloud of smoke billowed over the scene and heavy gunfire was heard in the area.

At the blast scene, the wreckage of a civilian minibus destroyed by the powerful bomb was in the street, with a pool of blood under the vehicle. Burning debris littered the scene.

Soldiers opened fire in the air to disperse a crowd standing near a car of an electricity company that was destroyed by the blast.

“What happened here was a painful tragedy – the blast struck two packed minibuses and no one survived,” said Abdifitah Halane, a spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor.

“There is flesh and blood everywhere,” he said, looking at the destruction caused by the blast.

Behind the wreckage of a minibus, a bereaved woman wept and called out the name of a man presumed to be her husband who was thought to have been in the car.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press

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