A powerful car bomb killed a Somali military general and five of his bodyguards in the capital Sunday, according to a Somali police officer.

Gen. Mohamed Roble Jimale Gobanle and his bodyguards were killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle next to the general’s car near Somalia’s defense ministry compound in Mogadishu, Capt. Ali Nur said.

Gen. Gobanle was the commander of the Somali army’s 3rd Brigade, a combat team fighting the al-Shabaab Islamic extremists in southern Somalia.

al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, according the group’s Andalus radio station. al-Shabaab, which is allied to al Qaeda, has been waging a deadly insurgency across large parts of Somalia and often uses suicide car bomb attacks.

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