BY AFP,MOGADISHU,2SEPT 2018-At least seven people were killed in a suicide car bomb explosion in the Somalia capital Mogadishu on Sunday morning.
The Mogadishu Regional Administration spokesman, Mr Salah Omar Hassan, said the dead included three soldiers, two children and two adult civilian pedestrians.
“We shall let the media know about the final casualty levels, but this is what we have so far identified,” Mr Hassan said, adding that 14 other people were wounded in the incident.
The car packed with explosives exploded at the Howlwadag, one of the 17 districts of Mogadishu.
It exploded after it hit the perimeter wall of the compound located in a residential area.
Most impact was absorbed by a Quran school and a nearby mosque next to the district administrative centre.
“Courageous army officers guarding the district headquarter confronted the attacking car bomb, preventing it from entering the compound,” the regional spokesman added.
The casualty figures were expected to rise, considering that many houses close to the target compound were severely damaged in the densely populated area.
Soon after the blast, gunshots were heard.
Islamist extremists of the Al-Shabaab movement immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The militants’ claim came in a brief statement posted on a pro-Shabaab website.
“The Mujahedeen attacked the headquarter of the apostate administration… using a vehicle loaded with explosives, there are casualties,” it said.
A witness said the explosion destroyed the building.
“The blast was very huge, it affected several nearby buildings including a Koranic school and a mosque,” Mr Abdukadir Dahir said.
“Eight people were wounded among them several students who stayed at a nearby madrasa,” he added.
Somalia suffered the worst terror attack of its history in October last year.
More than 500 people were killed in Mogadishu in a truck bombing attributed to Al-Shabaab.
The Islamists, forced out of the capital in 2011, are fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government. They still hold sway over vast rural areas.
A 20,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) was deployed in 2007 under a UN mandate to shore up the government.