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Somalia: Car bomb hits military convoy near Mogadishu

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

AFGOYE, Somalia - A suicide car bomber struck a Somali military convoy in Afgoye town near the capital on Tuesday, killing at least 12 soldiers and wounding several others, Garowe Online reports.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the bomber targeted a vehicle carrying U.S.-trained troops passing the main checkpoint in the town, located about 30Km northwest of Mogadishu.

In a statement posted on its affiliated websites, the militant group said at least 12 soldiers were killed in the suicide attack on the convoy as it was traveling from Ballidogle to Mogadishu.

Ballidogle is an airbase situated outside Wanlaweyn district in the Lower Shabelle region where U.S. advisers train Somali military units who often participate in the special operations against Al-Shabaab.

Abdifitah Hajji Abdulle, the deputy governor of the region has rejected Al-Shabaab claims of 12 deaths and said at least 4 people have been injured in the car bombing.

"Only the bomber has lost his life in the car bomb attack. I can confirm you that at least 4 people were wounded and admitted to the hospital," said Abdulle while speaking to GO over the phone.

The attack comes amid a surge in attacks in the volatile region hit by frequent raids, mostly targeted Somali and African Union soldiers serving under AMISOM.