Six people were killed on Wednesday in a devastating car bomb explosion in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, a security official and witnesses said.
The attack was claimed by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group, which said in a brief statement that it was targeting “foreign officers”.
It took place just days after Somali leaders had agreed on a new timetable for long-delayed elections in the troubled country.
“The initial information we have… indicates that at least six people were killed and several others wounded in the huge car bomb blast,” local government security officer Mohamed Abdi told AFP.
“It has also caused devastation in the area,” he said, warning that the toll could be higher because of the number of people in the area.
I strongly condemned the heinous & barbaric terrorist act that took place today in #Mogadisho, which claimed the lives of innocent people. Terrorist groups continue to target & kill innocent #Somalia civilians. To defeat terror groups, we must unite in the fight against terrorism pic.twitter.com/ckgXHYT8q5
— Jabril Ibrahim Abdulle (@Ijabril) January 12, 2022
Witnesses said a multi-vehicle private security convoy escorting foreigners was passing by the area when the explosion hit.
“I saw some of the passengers injured and being carried after the blast,” said one witness Osman Hassan.
Another witness, Hassan Nur, said: “The blast was so huge that it has destroyed most of the buildings nearby the road and vehicles passing by the area.
“I saw several dead and wounded people strewn in the road.”