Somalia’s new military chief had just been sworn into office Sunday when he narrowly avoided a car bomb targeting defense officials. Five soldiers and at least eight civilians were killed in the attack near the defense ministry’s compound in Mogadishu, authorities said. The new army chief, Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Jimale, was traveling in a convoy with other top military officials when the blast went off near his vehicle. Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the bombing, which comes as President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed gears up to eradicate the terrorist group by appointing new military and intelligence heads. The attack serves as a grim reminder of Mohamed’s declaration last week that the entire country is a “war zone.” “What happened here was a painful tragedy—the blast struck two packed minibuses and no one survived,” Abdifitah Halane, a spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “There is flesh and blood everywhere,” he said.