Monday, July 16, 2012

Suicide car bomb hits Mogadishu, kills attacker, wounds 6

MOGADISHU, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A suicide car bomb explosion hit the center of Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday, killing the bomber and wounding six others, police said.

"A vehicle parked near a hotel Bin Ali in Hamarweyne district exploded, killing what we think the attacker and wounding six civilians. But the target of the attack was not immediately clear, " police officer Mohyadeen Ali told Xinhua.

The hotel locates in an area frequented by Somali government officials and house key government installations.

Witnesses said the vehicle has been parked near the gate of the hotel since in the hours of Monday morning before it went off while the driver was inside it.

"The explosion was very big. But it was luck that no one else was killed," Saed Muse, an eyewitness told Xinhua.

Somali security forces cordoned off the area and asked people to stay away from the scene of the explosion.

Police said the car bomb appears to have exploded prematurely and that investigations are underway into the explosion.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack so far but the militant group Al-Shabaab has previously carried out similar suicide car bomb attack against Somali government targets and AU peacekeeping forces. Al Shabaab does not usually claim responsibility for failed or foiled attacks.

The radical group which has links to al Qaida has recently been weakened by concerted military offensives by Somali government forces and African Union troops.

The Al-Shabaab fighters which controlled much of southern and central Somalia have lost large swathes of territory since they were forced to withdraw from the capital Mogadishu in August.

2012-07-16 17:10:51

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