Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:57PM
A Somali soldier stands at the site of a car bomb attack near the Peace Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, January 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A Somali soldier stands at the site of a car bomb attack near the Peace Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, January 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A roadside bomb explosion in a remote town in Somalia's semi-autonomous state of Puntland has killed eight soldiers.

Media reports said at least three troops were also injured when the deadly blast targeted a military convoy in Galgala on Sunday.

The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack. The militant group has a history of launching similar attacks across the troubled region in the past.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed recently declared war on al-Shabab, calling on the militants to withdraw from the group within 60 days in exchange for jobs and education.

Al-Shabab has stepped up its deadly bombings in the capital Mogadishu since the new president took office in February.

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The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.

The group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.