Two senior members of the Somali army, along with five of their soldiers, were killed on Thursday in a mine explosion as they passed their convoy near the capital, Mogadishu, military sources said. an attack claimed by Islamists Shabab.

General Omar Adan Hassan, head of the 12th Brigade of the Somali Army, and his commander in charge of operations, Abdi Ali Jamame, returned to Mogadishu after visiting a military base south of the capital when their convoy struck an explosive device on a road along the Indian Ocean.

“The terrorists have installed an explosive device along the road,” Mohamed Adan, a military official , told AFP . “The death of the general is confirmed as well as that of six other members of the national army, including the commander of the military operations.”

Abdulahi Ahmed, another military official said the men killed were traveling in a pickup truck. “Most of the passengers were killed,” he said, noting that the explosion also injured two soldiers.

Shebab insurgents, affiliated with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack. They were chased out of Mogadishu in 2011 and the Shebab then lost most of their strongholds. But they still control large rural areas from which they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide bombings, including in the capital, against government, security or civilian objectives.