[QODLink]
Africa

Deadly explosion strikes Somali capital

At least 11 people killed in Mogadishu as bomber rams car laden with explosives into convoy carrying Qatari officials.

Last Modified: 06 May 2013 00:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A powerful blast has struck the commercial and administrative district of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, sending a plume of black smoke into the sky and killing 11 people, Al Jazeera's correspondent and police say.

The blast, claimed by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab rebels, struck Mogadishu's 'Kilometre 4' neighbourhood on Sunday morning, and targeted a convoy carrying Qatari officials through central Mogadishu.

The visiting delegation of Qataris, who were travelling in the Somali interior minister's bullet-proof vehicle, were "safe", a security officer told the Reuters news agency. The minister was not in the car at the time.

Al Jazeera's Peter Greste, reporting from Mogadishu, confirmed 11 people had been killed in the blast, the first major attack this month. He said he had seen at least three bodies.

"Four vehicles look like they are completely damaged," he said. 

A second explosion went off in Mogadishu but there were no immediate reports of casualties, said Greste.

Our correspondent added that the area targeted in Sunday's attack had been in lockdown in the past few days because of an "unspecified threat".

Last month nine fighters dressed in police uniforms attacked Mogadishu's court complex, killing 10 national security officers before entering the building.

In March a car bomb in Mogadishu killed 10 people, with al-Shabab claiming responsibility for the attack.

Although significantly weakened by foreign troops from the African Union, the group has continued to launch attacks in Mogadishu where peacekeepers and the army maintain security.

Somalia's new government is still rebuilding its army and police after decades of violence that began with the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991. 

268

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.