Car bomb kills six in Somali capital


Somalia: A suicide car bomb rammed into a local government office in Somalia’s capital today, killing at least six people in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab. A loud blast destroyed the office in Mogadishu’s Hodan district and sent up huge clouds of smoke.

Captain Mohamed Hussein said the large blast also left at least 16 other injured and most of the victims were district workers and soldiers.

This is the second such attack on a district headquarters in the capital this month. The Howlwadag district headquarters was targeted on September 2 with at least six people killed, including two children.

The al Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility. The Somalia-based group often targets the capital with bombings, including a truck bombing in October that left at least 512 people dead.

Mogadishu residents have been dismayed by the car bombings that occur despite multiple checkpoints and hundreds of soldiers inspecting vehicles entering the city. The government has blocked most back streets as part of a new security strategy aimed at preventing attacks.

Somali troops are meant to take over the Horn of Africa nation’s security in the coming years from an African Union force but concerns about their readiness remain high.

The UN Security Council recently voted to delay the reduction of troops in the AU force from October to February and the target date to hand over security to Somali forces to December 2021.

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