Casualties in Somalia suicide car bombing: security official

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A suicide car bomber smashed into a pickup truck carrying security officers in the Somalia capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, a security official said, in the latest in a string of attacks.

“A suicide bomber rammed his car into the pickup truck and there were casualties,” said security official Abdi Dahir. “There was a heavy explosion.”

One witness said they had seen two dead bodies following the attack, which took place near the embassy of the United Arab Emirates.

A military convoy from the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) was also passing nearby at the time of the attack, witnesses said, and it was not clear what the exact target had been.

“I saw the dead bodies of two people, and there were several wounded soldiers,” said Abdulahi Yasin, who saw the aftermath of the attack.

“The explosion was very heavy and it destroyed the pickup truck,” said Hassan Bile, another witness.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shebab carry out regular bombings and attacks in the troubled capital.

Shebab attacks seek to counter claims that they are close to defeat after losing territory in the face of an AU and Somali government offensive, regular US drone strikes against their leaders and defections.

The militants have also carried out a string of revenge attacks in neighbouring countries — including the September 2013 attack on the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, which left at least 67 people dead, and the April massacre of close to 150 students in Garissa in Kenya’s northeast.

Somalia has been wracked by instability since the collapse of Siad Barre’s hardline regime in 1991.

The current government is being supported by a 22,000-strong AU force that includes troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

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