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Mogadishu bomb kills one, wounds six

16 July 2012, 14:26

 Mogadishu - A car bomb went off on Monday in Somalia's volatile capital Mogadishu, killing the driver and wounding six others, police said.

"The driver of the car was killed and six civilians walking nearby were injured, some of them seriously," said police Colonel Ali Mohamed.

"The explosion was very heavy," said Hassan Muhidin, a witness. "The front part of the car was totally destroyed and the severed dead body of the driver is still lying there."

Some witnesses said the explosion could have been a bomb attached beneath the driver's seat - a tactic reportedly used previously by the al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents - as the front of the vehicle was worst hit.

But police said they were still investigating the blast, and it was not immediately clear whether explosives had been planted in the car or if the bomb had been a suicide attack.

"My sister, who was selling tea near the scene of the explosion, was seriously injured," said Farhiyo Ahmed, another witness. "I saw several other bleeding people who were injured."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which follows a string of explosions including roadside bombs and grenades that have rocked the Somali capital.

The city has seen a series of such attacks since the hardline Shabaab abandoned fixed positions there last year and switched to guerrilla tactics against the Western-backed government and a 17 000-strong African Union force.

The Shabaab face increasing pressure from pro-government forces and regional armies, having lost a series of key towns and strategic bases in recent months.

However, experts warn the Shabaab are far from defeated and remain a major threat.



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