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At least seven dead in car bombing near Somalia stadium

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At least seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded at an army base in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, military and emergency services officials said.

The attack targeted a compound near Somalia’s national stadium where soldiers from the Somali National Army (SNA) are stationed.

“There was a heavy blast at the 27th brigade camp. A vehicle loaded with explosives rammed the entrance and there are casualties. Seven people died and more than ten others were wounded,” Mohamed Abdirahman, a lieutenant in the SNA, told AFP.

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Aamin Ambulance, the country’s only free ambulance service, said in a statement that eight people died and 14 others were wounded in the blast.

Witnesses said the vehicle passed by a checkpoint before a huge explosion erupted near the military camp.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.  

Suleyman Hassan, a witness, said a minivan loaded with explosives detonated just outside the entrance. 

“There are casualties, and some vehicles are burning. We can see clouds of smoke,” he said. 

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Other witnesses also reported seeing ambulancing taking away the dead and wounded from the site.

Somalia has suffered near-continuous conflict for almost 30 years, while the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu has been fighting Al-Shabaab Islamic insurgents since 2008.

Bombings and other terrorist attacks are common in Mogadishu, although few have been recorded in recent months.

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