Wednesday 18 October 2017

Suicide bomber posing as milk delivery van driver kills 15 in Mogadishu

Somali security forces attend the scene of a car bomb attack in Mogadishu (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)
Somali security forces attend the scene of a car bomb attack in Mogadishu (Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP)

At least 15 people are dead after a suicide car bomber posing as a milk delivery van driver detonated his device at a district headquarters in Somalia's capital, police said.

The death toll may rise as some of the at least nine people wounded were badly hurt in the explosion at Wadajir district headquarters in Mogadishu, Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

Most of the dead were civilians, Capt Hussein said.

The al Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its Shahada News Agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist groups.

The blast comes less than a week after al-Shabab gunmen carried out an overnight siege on a popular restaurant in the Somali capital, killing at least 31 people.

Somalia-based al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace.

It has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.

Al-Shabab last year became the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington-based Africa Centre for Strategic Studies.

The extremist group also faces a new military push from the United States after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including air strikes, against al-Shabab.

AP

Press Association

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