World Bulletin/News Desk
A car loaded with explosives rammed into the gates of an office housing Turkish embassy staff in the Somali capital, killing three people, witnesses and police said on Saturday, the latest in a series of blasts over the past two months.
"A suicide car bomb targeted a building housing Turkish embassy workers near k4 (Kilometre Four)," Ahmed Mohamud, police officer told Reuters from the scene of the blast.
Mohamud later said the number of dead was three, Somali civilians and a suspected suicide bomber, while nine others had been wounded.
"The car was taking advantage of a Turkish car that was going into the building, thus the car bomb exploded and destroyed the gate," he said.
al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, as they have for previous bombings, including one in mid-July that killed eight civilians.
On its Twitter feed, it said its forces had "just carried out an operation targeting a group of Turkish diplomats in Hodan district."
A Reuters witness said armed Turkish security staff inside the embassy building put out a request for those at the scene to call ambulances to carry away the wounded.
Somalia is trying to rebuild itself after two decades of civil war and lawlessness, backed by international aid as well as African Union peacekeepers and Ethiopian troops.
Al Shabaab was forced out of bases in Mogadishu by Somali and African forces about two years ago, raising hopes of a return to relative security in a city hit by years of turmoil.
But the group has kept up guerrilla-style attacks and continues to control large rural areas, challenging the authority of a government less than one year old.
In the most recent brazen attack, its members attacked the main U.N. compound in the capital in June, killing 22 people.
The group said earlier this month it was aiming to increase the number of attacks carried out during the Ramadan fasting period.Last Mod: 27 Temmuz 2013, 18:26