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Somalia's new military chief survives bombing that kills 15

By Allen Cone
Somalia's new military chief survives bombing that kills 15
Military personnel appear at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack Sunday outside a military base in Mogadishu. At least 15 people died in the attack that was aimed at senior officials leaving the base but instead hit a minibus. Photo by Yusuf Warsame/EPA

April 9 (UPI) -- Somalia's new military leader survived an assassination attempt that killed at least 15 people Sunday in Mogadishu, the nation's capital, police said.

Police Capt. Osman Mohamed said to CNN the attack was directed against Ahmed Mohamed Irfid, who was appointed three days ago in a major security shake-up.

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The leader was unharmed when the bomber attempted to drive into the convey of military leaders but missed and instead rammed into a minibus on a busy street between the military academy and the Ministry of Defense headquarters.

"When we arrived at the scene, we counted bodies of 15 people, most of them were severed," Mire Aden, a local police chief, said to Al Jazeera. "A number of soldiers are among the dead."

Terror group al-Shabab, which has attempted to overthrow the government, claimed responsibility for the car bomb attack in a statement on Andalus Radio, the group's main radio channel.

Last week, Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared a new war against al-Shabab.

On Thursday, at least 19 passengers in a minibus died in a landmine explosion.

National and African Union multinational forces have pushed the militants out of the capital and other major urban areas.

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