Several killed in jihadist-claimed blast in Somali capital

AFP

3 min read
Somali military force members supporting anti-government opposition leaders gather before leaving for their bases in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 7, 2021.
AFPSomali military force members supporting anti-government opposition leaders gather before leaving for their bases in Mogadishu, Somalia, on May 7, 2021.

The government says that the current toll is four dead and six wounded

Several people were killed on Wednesday in a suicide car bomb blast in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, officials said. 

The attack was claimed by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group, which said in a brief statement that it was targeting "foreign officers.”

It took place only days after Somali leaders agreed on a new timetable for long-delayed elections in the troubled Horn of Africa country. 

The government said in a statement on Twitter that it condemned the "cowardly" suicide attack, and gave a toll of four dead and six wounded.

"Such acts of terrorism will not derail the peace & the ongoing development in the country. We must unite in the fight against terrorism."

Local government security officer Mohamed Abdi earlier told AFP that at least six people were killed.

"It has also caused devastation in the area," he said, warning that the toll could be higher because a large number of people were in the area.

The United States, the largest foreign donor to Somalia's embattled government, condemned the attack and extended its sympathies to the families of those killed and wounded.

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1481245139658067968 ...

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Witnesses said a multi-vehicle private security convoy escorting foreigners was passing by the area in southern Mogadishu when the explosion hit.

"I saw some of the passengers injured and being carried after the blast," said one witness, Osman Hassan.

Another witness, Hassan Nur, said: "The blast was so huge that it has destroyed most of the buildings nearby the road and vehicles passing by the area.

"I saw several dead and wounded people strewn in the road."

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia said contrary to early reports "there were no UN personnel or contractors in the convoy targeted in the suicide attack.”