Car bomb kills four, driver near parliament in Somali capital

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27 March, 2018

At least four people, including soldiers were killed and five others wounded in a suicide auto bomb attack targeting a security checkpoint near the parliament in capital Mogadishu on Sunday afternoon, according to police.

"We now have established that five people have been killed", the officer said.

It was the second vehicle bomb within hours in the Somali capital, where the terrorist group al-Shabab often targets attacks.

The auto bomb went off after security personnel stopped a suspicious vehicle at one of several checkpoints erected along a road leading to the parliament and presidential palace, senior police captain Mohamed Hussein told the AP news agency. "I saw people being rushed to hospital and some of them were already dead", said Abdulahi Moalim. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Those dead included two soldiers, he said, while numerous almost 10 people wounded are rickshaw drivers. Al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings and other attacks in Mogadishu in a campaign to topple Somalia's Western-backed federal government.

The explosions occurred days after a bomb went off outside the Weheliye Hotel in the city, killing at least 14 people, mostly young entrepreneurs, and injuring at least 10 others on Thursday afternoon, according to police and rescue services.

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In phone interview, a policeman Hanad Mohamed said that a few hours earlier, another vehicle bomb had killed one person plus the driver near Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab's military operation spokesman said his group had carried out the attack.

United States forces have stepped up efforts against Al-Shabaab, with the military carrying out about 30 airstrikes in Somalia past year, twice as many as in 2016.

AMISOM said the trainings were part of the mission's elaborate program to help professionalize the Somali security forces and make it effective in maintaining law and order.

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