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At Least 10 Killed in Shabab Bombing in Somali Capital | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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At least 10 people were killed in a Shabab-claimed suicide bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu. (AFP)

At least ten people were killed in a car bombing in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

The attack, claimed by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab group, targeted a government building, a government official said.

“More than 10 persons died, 20 others were wounded. The explosion destroyed the building of Wadajir District headquarters. More than 10 cars were destroyed in the explosion,” Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu mayor, said.

Police meanwhile put the death toll to at least 15.

A suicide car bomber posing as a milk delivery van carried out the attack.

The death toll may rise, as some of the at least nine people wounded were badly hurt in the explosion, Captain Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press.

Most of the dead were civilians, he said.

The blast comes less than a week after al-Shabab gunmen carried out an overnight siege on a popular restaurant in the Somali capital, killing at least 31 people.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab often targets high-profile areas of Mogadishu, including hotels, military checkpoints and areas near the presidential palace. It has vowed to step up attacks after the recently elected government launched a new military offensive against it.

Al-Shabab last year became the deadliest extremist group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

The extremist group also faces a new military push from the United States after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against al-Shabab.