General was leading figure in fight against Al-Shabaab
Four of his guards were also killed in the bombing Sunday
The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a car bomb in Mogadishu that killed a Somali general and four of his guards Sunday.
Gen. Mohamed Roble Jimale, commander of the Somali Army’s 3rd division and a leading figure in the fight against Al-Shabaab, was killed as he was leaving a compound, according to Gen. Yusuf Mohamed.
The general was wounded in the attack and died later in a hospital, Mohamed said.
Al-Shabaab is a Somali extremist group that seeks to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamic state and has carried out repeated attacks against Somali government and military targets.
Last month, an Al-Shabaab truck bomb exploded outside the Somali presidential palace and a popular hotel in Mogadishu, killing at least 15. Less than two weeks earlier, a pair of suicide car bombings struck a government building, killing 23 people.
The United States designated Al-Shabaab as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008. It has carried out attacks against diverse targets at home – killing international aid workers, journalists, civilian leaders and peacekeepers – as well as abroad.
Some of its most brutal attacks have been in neighboring Kenya, which has taken a key role in the African Union’s military action against the group.
Last year, Al-Shabaab gunmen killed nearly 150 people at Kenya’s Garissa University College. At least 67 people were killed at a Nairobi shopping mall in 2013.
Journalist Omar Nor reported from Mogadishu, Somalia, and Tim Hume reported and wrote from London. CNN’s Holly Yan contributed to this report.