MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least 18 people have been killed in two separate bomb explosions in Somalia Saturday, say Somali police officials.
In the first attack 14 soldiers were killed when militants drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a training site for government soldiers in the southern port city of Kismayo, said Col. Mohamed Hassan, a senior Somali police officer in Kismayo.
Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that blast and said that 100 soldiers were killed, according the group's radio station Andulus.
But police Col. Hassan insisted that just 14 soldiers were killed and nine wounded. "Some of the wounded victims in hospitals have sustained serious wounds." he said.
Two militants in the attack were killed and two more suspected militants were arrested and are being interrogated by security officials, the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia said on Twitter.
Later Saturday, four people were killed when a parked car exploded near a bus station in northern Mogadishu, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein. The attack in the capital bore the hallmarks of al-Shabab.
Despite being forced out of many of their strongholds, al-Shabab are still able to launch lethal attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere in Somalia.