Suicide bombing kills three people, injures two in Somali capital: Police

Al-Shabab claims responsibility for the attack, saying the blast targeted local security officials.

Shabab fighters - Somalia
Al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area located in about 18km south of Mogadishu [File: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP]

A suicide bombing in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has killed three people and injured two others, according to the authorities.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated armed group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

The suicide bomber, who was being pursued by police, blew himself up outside an Indian restaurant in Mogadishu’s Hamar Weyne district, police spokesperson Sadik Ali said on Tuesday.

Al-Shabab said in a statement that the blast targeted local security officials. It said there were casualties, without providing a number.

Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with the main threats emanating from al-Shabab and the ISIL (ISIS) terror groups.

Ramped-up attacks

Al-Shabab frequently attacks military outposts and civilian and government targets as part of a campaign to topple Somalia’s government and establish its own rule based on its interpretation of Islamic law.

It has carried out a bloody 16-year war against the fragile central government in Mogadishu, which has struggled to blunt its violence despite considerable foreign military support.

The group has ramped up its activity since Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected for a second term last year, declared war on the group.

Somali army officials said last week al-Shabab fighters captured a United Nations helicopter carrying two Somali men and several foreigners after it made an emergency landing in the Galgaduud region, an area controlled by the group.

The government said it was working to rescue the passengers, but military officers noted it would be difficult to access the area where they were taken.

Source: News Agencies