Monday September 3, 2018
A soldier walks near the wreckage of vehicles at the scene of the blast in Mogadishu. (AP)
Three soldiers who stopped the truck were killed instantly and the three others killed were civilians.
At least six people were killed, including
two children, after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden
vehicle outside a district headquarters in Somalia's capital,
authorities said on Sunday.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the bomber tried to
speed through a checkpoint but was stopped by security forces,
prompting him to detonate the vehicle near the gate of Howlwadag
The three soldiers who stopped the truck were
killed instantly and the three others killed were civilians, said the
Mogadishu mayor's spokesman, Salah Hassan Omar.
Fourteen people, including six children, need
intensive care, said the Aamin Ambulance service. Among the wounded was
deputy district commissioner Ibrah Hassan Matan.
Many victims were students at a nearby
madrassha. Officials warned there could be more casualties as the blast
brought down nearby buildings including a mosque. "I saw bodies strewn
on the ground after the explosion before the ambulances and the
paramedics reached the scene and the whole scene was very ugly," witness
Halima Mohamed said.
The attacker "literally failed to achieve
their goal of inflicting maximum casualties," police captain Hussein
said, accusing the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Al Shabab of carrying
out the attack.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, which shattered a period of calm in seaside Mogadishu.
The Somalia-based Al Shabab often targets the
capital with bombings, including a truck bombing in October that left at
least 512 people dead.
Somali troops are meant to take over the Horn
of Africa nation's security in the coming years from an African Union
force but concerns about their readiness remain high.