Somali defense minister escapes car bomb attack in Mogadishu

11:05, February 16, 2010      

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The Somali defense minister escaped assassination after car bombs were detonated on Monday, killing five people and wounding 14 others in the government- controlled part of the capital Mogadishu, medics and police said.

A car was parked near Ambassador Hotel in the government- controlled side of the city. The explosives went off after the motorcade of Minister Sheikh Yusuf Indha Adde passed near the hotel, where a number of Somali government officials were stayed.

Health officials said five people were killed and 14 others most of them civilians were wounded after at least two car bombs exploded.

The explosions caused extensive damage to cars parked in the area and buildings in the vicinity.

Somali government forces cordoned off the area and started shooting into the air to disperse people when they saw them coming to see the blazing wreckage.

Witnesses in the area of the blast say that a car bomb exploded minutes after the convoy of the minister passed.

The Somali government has not officially commented on the explosions, which have not been claimed by any of the Islamist groups in Somalia.

The radical group of Al Shabaab is opposed to the Somali government and has been waging deadly insurgency for the past three years. It usually carries out similar attacks on government officials, security forces and the African Union peacekeeping forces.

Source: Xinhua
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