Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A suicide bombing killed at least nine people and injured nearly 20 Saturday when the bomb-laden car detonated at the gates of a Somali military base, security officials and witnesses said.
Security officials told Voice of America that eight of the people killed were government soldiers and other casualties were family members of soldiers who were are at the base in the capital of Mogadishu.
"A suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden vehicle sped toward the front gate of the camp but the guards opened fire to stop it before it detonated," police officer Aden Mohamed told VOA.
Hospital officials said that around 20 people were injured in the blast.
The base is near the newly renovated sports stadium that was reopened last month.
Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the explosion.
The attack is the second in the volatile seaside city this month, Garowe Online reported. Last week, a suicide bomber linked to the same militant group blew himself up at a popular restaurant, Lul Yemeny eatery, near Mogadishu seaport. The attack killed at least three people.
Al-Shabab occupied Mogadishu for years before being driven out in 2011.
In March, the same terrorist militant group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, the former governor of Nugaal region, in Garowe, nearly 600 miles from Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab also claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Mogadishu in March that killed three people.
In February, the United States carried out an airstrike in Somalia that killed an unnamed al-Shabab leader suspected of being involved in a January attack in Kenya that killed a U.S. service member, Spc. Henry J. Mayfield, Jr., 23, of Evergreen Park, Ill.
U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of AFRICOM, has called al-Shabab an al-Qaida affiliate and an "enemy of peace," in East Africa.
Last year, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a pair of car bombs in Mogadishu that killed at least eight people and injured at least 16.