Mogadishu, Somalia, 27 Jumadil Akhir 1434/6 May 2013 (MINA) – A convoy carrying officials from Qatar in Somalia’s capital hit by a car laden with explosives, Sunday (5/5), about 11 people were killed in the incident.
“Several people have been killed, the blast was huge … the number of those killed is around 11,” police official Mohamed Adan said, Al Akhbar reported monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
Four government officials from Qatar were traveling in armored vehicles belonging to the interior ministry when the convoy was attacked, but were unharmed.
“The convoy was escorting a delegation from Qatar, the police escorted them to a safe area after they survived the attack,” General Garad Nur, a senior police commander, told reporters.
The blast is the latest in a string of bloody attacks in the seaside capital. Other police officials said that at least 10 people had been killed.
“The mujahedeen have today carried out the first of a series of attacks,” the Shebab said on Twitter.
The car exploded close to a police station at the central K4 roundabout, a busy part of Mogadishu where many people gather to drink tea at roadside stalls.
“I saw eight bodies including a woman, some of them were burned very badly by the fire from the explosion,” said eyewitness Ali Yusuf. “It was a terrible sight.”
An AFP reporter on the scene said that the armored car hit in the attack had been damaged with its back windows blasted out. While several wounded were taken to hospital.
A second bomb hidden by the roadside and remotely detonated was set off around the same time in the Daynille district of Mogadishu targeting passing security forces, but injured no one, police added.
The attacks come just ahead of a conference in London on Tuesday (7/5) to draw up plans to boost security and increase development in conflict-torn Somalia.
More than 50 countries and organizations are due to take part in the talks, co-hosted by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The attack comes a day after senior Shebab commander Ahmed Abdi Godane released an audio message in which he urged “the mujahedeen to increase the number of martyrdom operations, so as to permanently cripple the weak regime”.
Last month, the Shebab launched a show of force in a complex coordinated attack, killing at least 34 as suicide commandos stormed the main courthouse while a car bomb was set off elsewhere in Mogadishu.
A force of some 17,000 African Union troops are fighting alongside Somali government forces against the Shebab, forcing them from a series of key towns. (T/P09/P03)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)