Updated 10:17 a.m. | The explosion struck outside a government-run primary school in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing eight people and wounding at least 13, a Somali security official said Monday.
The evening blast occurred close to the K4 school as students were taking their morning exams, which had just begun, Abdiqani Mire, the deputy head of the Mogadishu city security directorate, told The Associated Press.
“I saw one student with his neck slit and then others started running back to school,” said a teacher at the school who declined to give his name for fear of retribution.
The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mogadishu was targeted earlier this year by a twin bomb attack in a congested park that killed more than 300 people. Another bomber killed more than 100 people in 2017 when he rammed a car packed with explosives into a Mogadishu restaurant popular with foreigners.
The extremist group has vowed to carry out revenge against the Somali government, which is now just months into its power.
Meanwhile in South Sudan, a group of rebel fighters on Monday seized a border town after clashes with government forces, the army said, with both sides trading blame for the fighting.
The security spokesman for the government-allied Popular Defense Forces, Col. David Matsanga, told The Associated Press that the fighters took over the town of Tinderet, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) from the border with Ethiopia.