A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a mosque in the centre of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing a soldier, police said, and Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police spokesman Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters the bomber had wanted to target a commander of Somalia’s prisons department who was praying inside the mosque.
A soldier intercepted the attacker before he entered the mosque and as he tried to push him back, the bomb exploded, killing the bomber and the soldier, Hussein said.
“The suicide bomber had a prison police uniform and an explosive jacket on top,” Hussein said.
Al Shabaab carries out frequent bombings in Mogadishu and other towns aimed at toppling the Horn of Africa country’s central government and drive out the Africa Union-mandated peace keeping force AMISOM.
Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musabb, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters the group was behind the assault and that the attack had caused “deaths and injuries,” without giving a figure. He said the group was targeting a senior prisons official.