A suicide bomber killed five Somali soldiers and seriously wounded an American military adviser in Somalia on Monday in an attack claimed by the Al-Shabaab group, security officials told AFP.

The bomber detonated a vehicle packed with explosives at the entrance to a military base in Janay Abdalla, a village about 60 kilometres outside the southern port city of Kismayo.

Mohamed Abdulle, a local security official, told AFP that the vehicle was fired upon but unable to be stopped.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, saying 16 Somali troops and four Americans were killed. The Islamist insurgents frequently exaggerate the number of casualties sustained in their attacks.

Somalia has suffered near-continuous conflict for almost 30 years, while the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu has been fighting Al-Shabaab Islamic insurgents since 2008.

In August, 10 civilians and a police officer were killed in a gun and bomb attack by Al-Shabaab fighters on an upscale beachfront hotel in the capital.

That same month, four Al-Shabaab fighters held in Mogadishu’s central prison were killed in an intense shootout with security forces after they somehow managed to get their hands on weapons within the facility.

At least seven people were killed in a separate attack in August when a car bomb exploded at an army base in Mogadishu where members of the Somali National Army (SNA) were stationed.

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