Source: Xinhua   2018-05-22 22:39:20

MOGADISHU, May 22 (Xinhua) — At least five Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers were injured on Tuesday after the vehicle in which they were traveling was hit by suicide bombing in Afgoye town, about 30 km west of Mogadishu.

A police officer said the attack took place at Bar-Ismaciil, in Afgoye in Lower Shabelle, as the convoy was heading to Mogadishu from Baledogle airstrip.

The police officer did not give a number of casualties, but witnesses said five soldiers were injured.

“We have got the information of the attack on the security forces, and we are establishing more details,” the police officer, who requested not to be named, told Xinhua.

An eyewitness told Xinhua that there was a huge blast in the area as the forces passed by.

“We heard a huge explosion from a place where government forces were passing by. There was also exchange of fire,” Abdullahi Mohamed said.

Militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility, saying its fighters killed 12 soldiers in the roadside attack.

Lower Shabelle Region Deputy Governor Abdifitah Abdille, however, said only the suicide bomber died.

The latest attack comes as security forces in the country remain on high alert during the holy month of Ramadan, a time when al-Shabab has been known to launch attacks, especially in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.