Suicide car bomb kills 11 in Mogadishu

2012-02-08 17:54

Mogadishu - A suicide bomber killed at least 11 people on Wednesday in the war-torn Somali capital Mogadishu when he detonated an explosive-laden vehicle near the presidential palace, officials said.

"There was a heavy explosion, a car full of explosives was detonated. At least 11 people were killed and a greater number were wounded," lawmaker Mohamed Iro said.

The bomber detonated the vehicle at a small cafe where people had gathered to drink tea, a spot also close to a hotel once popular with officials and located in the heart of the government quarter.

"It was a suicide bomber in a car - they were trying to target the people near the hotel," said Abdi Abullahi Jama, a security official.

"There are many people dead and many wounded, we are still investigating."

The blast occurred outside the Mona hotel, where 32 people including six members of parliament were killed in an August 2010 attack by two Islamist suicide gunmen wearing government security uniforms.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, the latest in a string of blasts including roadside bombs and grenade explosions that have rocked the Somali capital in recent months.

The city has seen an increase in such attacks since the al-Qaeda linked Shabaab abandoned fixed positions there in August and switched to guerrilla tactics against the Western-backed government and African Union troops.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  somalia

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