MOGADISHU – At least five people were killed and three injured when a car bomb allegedly driven by a suicide attacker exploded in Mogadishu on Tuesday, police sources told EFE.
Police officer Abshir Isak, present at the scene of the explosion, confirmed to EFE that the dead included two security guards and three civilians.
A powerful explosion had shaken the capital in an attack that affected local government offices in the Warta Nabada District neighborhood, near Villa Somalia in Mogadishu, the fortified official residence of the country’s president, the source said.
Ambulances and security forces have taken up positions there and a large column of smoke could be seen, the source said.
Authorities were distributing food to poor families at the time of the attack, Isak said.
The attacker sought to maximize the number of victims with the choice of that target, although he could not penetrate the complex because he had been repelled by the security forces, he said, adding the situation was already under control.
So far, nobody has claimed the attack, although Mogadishu is the scene of frequent attacks by Somali Islamist rebels linked to Al Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaida. The group controls parts of the center and south of the country.
Al Shabab fights with the aim of establishing a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim Islamic state based on the Saudi Arabian-inspired doctrine of Wahhabism that strives to purify beliefs by rejecting any innovation that has taken place since the third century of Islam.
Somalia has been in a state of war and chaos since 1991, when the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and in the hands of Islamist militias and warlords.