Skip to main content

Suicide bomber targets Qatari delegation in Somalia, 8 dead

From Omar Nor, for CNN
May 6, 2013 -- Updated 1242 GMT (2042 HKT)
Somalia is divided into three regions: Somalia, and semi-autonomous Somaliland and Puntland.
Somalia is divided into three regions: Somalia, and semi-autonomous Somaliland and Puntland.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Eight people were killed in the suicide bombing, officials say
  • The Somali interior minister was not with the delegation, his office says
  • The Islamist militia Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for the attack
  • The radical group has staged several other recent attacks in the nation

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- A suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a convoy carrying a Qatari delegation in Mogadishu Sunday, killing at least eight people and wounding seven, authorities and witnesses said.

Farah Hassan, who witnessed the aftermath of the attack, said those killed were all bystanders at the busy intersection in Somalia's capital.

Earlier reports about the attack said Somalia's interior minister was traveling in the convoy, but the minister's office said he was not there.

Somali prime minister spokesman Ahmed Adan and District Commissioner Abdi Warsame said no one in the convoy was hurt in the attack.

The radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombing, and said six soldiers were killed and nine wounded.

2012: The battle against al-Shabaab

"The mujahideen have today carried out a martyrdom operation in Mogadishu, targeting Somali interior minister convoy," the militant group posted on a pro-Al-Shabaab website.

Several principal roads in and around the capital were locked down by government troops in recent days amid threats by Al-Shabaab to launch deadly attacks. The site of Sunday's suicide bombing was just reopened a day ago.

Emergency vehicles, sirens wailing, rushed to the gruesome scene, where incinerated bodies and body parts were strewn across the road. The wounded, some of them seriously injured, were rushed to the hospital.

A bulldozer sifted through the rubble, which covered most of the street.

"What have they done to us?" one woman wailed.

The latest attack comes two days ahead of a conference on Somalia in London, where Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is expected to present his plans to rebuild the military and the country as a whole, as well as solicit international support.

Al-Shabaab has waged several recent attacks in Somalia.

Last month, at least 10 heavily armed militants forced their way into a court building in Mogadishu, killing 29 people, sources said.

In that attack, some assailants detonated explosives while others exchanged fire with government security officers, witnesses said.

At least nine members of Al-Shabaab were also killed, the sources said.

Somalia's president has called the uptick in strikes "nothing but a sign of desperation by the terrorists," saying the militants "are in complete decline."

Somalia's government, backed by African Union peacekeepers, has been battling Islamist guerrillas for years.

CNN's Nima Elbagir contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Tichleman 1
A makeup artist, writer and model who loves monkeys and struggles with demons.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Lionel Messi's ability is not in question -- but will the World Cup final allow him to emerge from another footballing legend's shadow?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1029 GMT (1829 HKT)
Why are Iraqi politicians dragging their feet while ISIS militants fortify their foothold across the country?
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
An elephant, who was chained for 50 years, cries tears of joy after being freed in India. CNN's Sumnima Udas reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
Beneath a dusty town in northeastern Pakistan, CNN explores a cold labyrinth of hidden tunnels that was once a safe haven for militants.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
CNN's Ravi Agrawal asks whether Narendra Modi can harness the country's potential to finally deliver growth.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman visits the Yazji family and finds out what it's like living life in the middle of conflict.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
People walk with their luggage at the Maiquetia international airport that serves Caracas on July 3, 2014. A survey by pollster Datanalisis revealed that 25% of the population surveyed (end of May) has at least one family member or friend who has emigrated from the country. AFP PHOTO/Leo RAMIREZ (Photo credit should read LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Plane passengers are used to paying additional fees, but one airport in Venezuela is now charging for the ultimate hidden extra -- air.
ADVERTISEMENT