Suicide car bomb kills at least 10 in Somali capital

Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:15am EST
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By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - An Islamist militant suicide bomber drove a car into a Mogadishu cafe frequented by members of the security forces on Thursday, killing at least 10 people and blowing the place to bits.

Al Shabaab said it had carried out the attack, which followed an assault by its fighters on the president's palace in the Somali capital last week.

"Today's blast was part of our operations in Mogadishu and we shall continue," said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman.

He said the attack had targeted security personnel who were sitting in the tea shop, killed 11 of them and wounded 15 others.

Police said at least 10 people died at the tea shop, which is popular with security personnel as it is near their compound.

"A bomber swerved his car bomb into a tea shop where national security men were sitting and blew up," Police Colonel Abdikadir Hussein told Reuters. "The tea shop was completely destroyed."

Although Al Shabaab was driven out of the capital and other major centers in the past two years, it still controls swathes of the countryside and mostly smaller towns. It has continued to wage a bombing campaign in Mogadishu, harming government efforts to exert control over areas it governs.

Somalia, which is slowly emerging from two decades of conflict and anarchy, is struggling to rebuild its national security forces. For now, the government still largely relies on an African peacekeeping force, AMISOM.   Continued...

A Somali policeman walks at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack next to a tea shop in the suburbs of capital Mogadishu February 27, 2014. Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bombing on Thursday that police said killed at least 10 people in the Somali capital Mogadishu and threatened more attacks. REUTERS/Feisal Omar (SOMALIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)