50 killed in Mogadishu car bomb


A car bomb ripped through a government compound in Mogadishu Tuesday, killing around 50 people in one of Somalia’s deadliest ever suicide attacks, officials and witnesses said.
The attack was claimed by the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgents and came as the rebels launched attacks in the country’s west and south.
“We fear up to 50 (dead). We understand it is a vehicle bomb,” said an official from the Mogadishu-based African Union force who did not want to be named.
An official of the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said one of their fighters carried out the attack.
“One of our Mujahidin made the sacrifice to kill TFG (Transitional federal Government) officials, the African Union troops and other informers who were in the compound,” said the Shebab official.
Mohamud Abdullahi, a taxi driver, said a car had driven into the compound and exploded, and gave an initial toll of 10 people dead and more than 20 wounded.
AU and government troops deployed heavily to the area and cordoned it off. One AU official said the incident was “very serious,” but did not elaborate.