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Car bomb blast kills 18, wounds 25 in Somali capital

19 February 2017 16:52


At least 18 people have lost their lives and more than two dozen others have been wounded in a car bomb explosion in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, officials and witnesses say.

Ahmed Abdulle Afrax, the mayor of Wadajir, the district in the city of Mogadishu that was bombed, said that the deadly incident took place on Sunday when an explosive-laden car exploded near a busy market in the capital city.

Witnesses said the bombing happened in an area where soldiers, civilians and traders were present.

The death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured are said to be in critical condition.

A shopkeeper surveys the wreckage of shops destroyed by a blast in a market in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (Photo by AP)

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but the al-Shabab Takfiri militant group has been blamed for such attacks in the past.

The explosion is the first big attack in the Somali capital since the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo last week.

The latest attack comes days before the African country is due to inaugurate a new president.

On February 8, hours before the election, a terrorist attack by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants on a hotel in Somalia’s port city of Bosasso left four guards and two assailants dead.

Newly elected president of Somalia and former prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, gestures as he makes an address on February 8, 2017, in Mogadishu after he was elected president. (Photo by AFP)

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Somalia has not seen a powerful central government since former dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre, was toppled by warlords in 1991.

Since 2007, nearly 22,000 African Union peacekeeping forces have been deployed to the impoverished country in a bid to assist the government’s battle against al-Shabab. The group continues to wage terror attacks in Mogadishu despite having been flushed out of the capital and other major cities by the joint forces of the government and the African Union.

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