Five dead in Mogadishu blast


A blast in the Somali capital killed five civilians and injured six more, a city spokesman said, underscoring the ability of Islamist insurgents to carry out bombings despite territorial losses.

“We have confirmed five civilians, including a mother and son, died,” said Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for Mogadishu mayor.

A Reuters reporter at the scene saw burnt bodies and a wrecked car near a damaged police checkpoint.

Bombings are a near-daily occurrence in the Somali capital. Most are claimed by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militia, fighting to overthrow the UN-backed government and drive out the African Union peacekeeping force supporting it.

Since withdrawing from Mogadishu in 2011, al Shabaab has lost control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns. But it still retains a strong presence in swathes of the south and centre.

Also on Wednesday, eight Kenyan security officers were killed on the Kenyan side of the Somali border in two separate roadside bombings. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the first attack but could not be reached for comment on the second.

Adding to the violence, a small jihadist group in the north of Somalia has split from the main insurgency and declared allegiance to Islamic State. That group claimed responsibility for a bombing in Bosasso that killed five people on Tuesday.