Mogadishu Car Bombing Kills Nine

  • Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for suicide attack on convoy of senior police official in Somali capital

A suicide car bomb targeting a government convoy exploded at a busy junction in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing at least nine people and injuring eight others, a health official said.

The convoy was carrying a senior police official, Farhan Mohamud, who survived the attack on Saturday, the government news agency reported.

Al-Shabaab, which wants to overthrow the government and impose its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

At the Medina hospital, Dr Mohamed Nur told reporters that the toll reflected only the dead and wounded who were taken to the facility in Mogadishu where he works.

“I am sure the number is bigger as some of the victims were rushed to other hospitals, such as the privately owned ones,” he said.

“The commissioner is unharmed but there are other casualties the attack inflicted,” said Somali police spokesperson Sadiiq Dudishe.

He said the bomber, using an explosive-laden vehicle, struck the convoy of Mohamud, the Banadir regional police commissioner, at a busy intersection in the capital.

“It caused huge devastation and casualties of both police and civilians,” said Mire Adan, who was a few metres from the scene.

“The whole area is messed up with smoke as the blast caused fire and I saw several dead bodies most of them civilians,” said another witness, Osman Adan.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaida, has been fighting to overthrow Somalia’s federal government since 2007 and launches frequent attacks against the security forces as well as government and civilian targets.

It was the second such large explosion in the city this month. A blast targeting a teashop killed at least 10 people last week. Last month, a suicide bomb attack at a military base in Mogadishu killed at least 15 people.

The Banadir region lies in south-eastern Somalia and encompasses Mogadishu.

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