Suicide attack at Mogadishu government headquarters

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A suicide bombing at municipal government headquarters in Somali capital Mogadishu killed six people including district commissioners and local government chiefs, the country’s information minister said.

Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group al Shabaab, aiming to topple Somalia’s UN-backed government, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

“We conducted a successful operation in Mogadishu this afternoon. The target was the newly appointed UN envoy to Somalia and other senior enemy members. Some were eliminated, others wounded,” al Shabaab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said in a statement.

Six people were injured in the “terrorist act” including the mayor of Mogadishu, Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir told reporters. The UN envoy, American James Swan, earlier visited the mayor, according to the Twitter feed of the UN assistance mission in Somalia.

“A suicide bomber walked into the meeting hall and blew himself up,” Mohamed Abdullahi, a relative of a victim, told Reuters. The area was filled with ambulances after the blast, shopkeeper Mohamed Osman said.