At least 8 dead in suicide car bomb attack in Somali capital

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At least 8 dead in suicide car bomb attack in Somali capital

MOGADISHU, Somalia – At least eight people have been confirmed dead in Mogadishu following a suicide explosion that targeted a convoy in the insecure capital, which has witnessed several terrorist incidents in recent days.

Eyewitnesses said a suicide bomber driving a car blew himself up on October 21 in the streets of the capital’s Waberi district, right next to the busy Aden Adde International Airport, raising further questions on the security of the capital.

Sources said the suicide bomber was targeting a convoy of “white officials”, but their identities have not yet been established. There are several aid workers from foreign countries in Somalia, some also attached to diplomatic missions.

The terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, adding that it was targeting certain “foreigners”. The group further claimed to have achieved the target according to its proxy media, which often report such attacks.

Dozens of other people were seriously injured and have since been taken to various hospitals in the capital for treatment. It is the first major attack by militants this year in the troubled Horn of Africa country.

Mohamed Osman, a resident of Mogadishu, said the shock of the blast hit the walls and roof of a mosque he was praying in nearby, causing massive damage that “I have never seen in my life “. It is not known if the convoy was heading for the airport.

“When I came out of the mosque, I saw several old collapsed houses, pieces of bodies on the street, hands, legs,” Osman told Reuters. “Cars destroyed, tuk-tuks (rickshaws) burned; all that mess and loss of life in one minute, I survived.”

The militants still control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia and have killed thousands of people, including innocent civilians, security forces and government officials. The activists were expelled from the capital in 2007.

Currently, talks are underway for the African Union Mission to have a joint mission with the United Nations in Somalia. AMISOM’s current mandate is due to expire in March this year and there are fears that Al-Shabaab may be able to spread its wings in the country.

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