A huge blast rocked a military base in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu near a stadium on Saturday, killing at least eight people and injuring 14, emergency workers said.
Soldiers opened fire after the explosion which sent clouds of smoke into the sky, said Halima Abdisalan, a mother of three who lives near the area.
“We ran indoors in fear,” she said. “Soon I could see a military pickup speeding and carrying many soldiers covered with blood. I do not know if they were all dead or injured.”
Army officer Major Abdullahi Mohamud said it was an attack. “It must be a suicide car bomb, I am now transporting casualties,” he said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility.
“So far we carried eight dead people and 14 others injured,” Aamin ambulance service head Abdikadir Abdirahman said.
Somalia has been embroiled in deadly violence since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew leader Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
Since 2008, the militant group al Shabaab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-recognised central government and establish its rule based on its own interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.