Suicide attack on camp kills 7

2009-05-24 16:54

Mogadishu - A suicide car bomber believed to be white killed seven people and wounded five others in an attack on a Somali government military base on  Sunday, said the base commander.

The attacker, driving a Toyota Landcruiser sports utility vehicle, rammed into the base near the port of Mogadishu, killing at least six soldiers and a civilian and wounding five others.

"There was a suicide car bomb in our camp today (Sunday) and we lost six soldiers in the attack and one civilian also died nearby," said Lieutenant-Colonel Abdulahi Ousman Agey, said the commander of Hamadhwr camp near the Somali seaport.

"The bomber tried to enter inside the camp, but he was stopped by the guards and exploded his car," he told reporters.

Earlier a deputy mayor of Mogadishu Abdi Fatah Shaweyc told AFP that "a speeding car laden with explosives entered the camp and exploded inside.

"It was a white guy, we have seen parts of his body," the deputy mayor said.

News of this latest attack came a day after a US counter-terrorism official said US nationals had likely joined the ranks of insurgents in Somalia.

Saturday's edition of the The Times, London, reported that security officials had seen more than 290 fighters from Britain, the United States, Canada, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia enter Mogadishu in recent weeks.

Observers have warned that since Ethiopia's military withdrawal in January, Somalia risked becoming a haven for al- Qaeda-affiliated jihadists.

More than 150 people have been killed since hardline Islamist rebels launched a fresh round of attacks on May 7, claiming they had received the support of foreign fighters.

The fierce battles in the capital have sharply swollen the numbers of displaced to 57 000 from 49 000 after 8 000 fled from their homes on Friday alone.

The Somali capital has been ravaged by 18 years of almost uninterrupted civil conflict.