AljazeeraAt least 11 people killed in Mogadishu as bomber rams car laden with explosives into convoy carrying Qatari officials.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
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
The blast, followed by gunfire, 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
No group claimed responsibility for the blast but it
bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda-linked rebels who have kept up a campaign
of guerrilla-style attacks since the army and peacekeepers pushed them
out of bases in the city.
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.
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.
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.