MOGADISHU – At least six people were killed and a city’s mayor was injured in a suicide bomb in Mogadishu on Wednesday.
A bomber detonated an explosive device on their person during a security meeting at the mayor’s headquarters in the Somalian capital.
Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman was taken to hospital in a critical condition after the blast, according to local media.
The attack was carried out a few hours after the new United Nations envoy to Somalia James Swan met with Osman at his office, police commander Ali Adan Taagey told EFE.
The Somali terror group al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the bombing and said it was targeting the recently-appointed official, who had left the premises shortly before.
Two commissioners from the districts of Waberi and Abdiaziz were killed in the blast and other municipal officials are feared to be among the dead.
Another eight people were wounded, according to the minister of Commerce and Industry Mohamed Abdi Hayir, who addressed a press conference.
The UN ambassador to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga expressed his solidarity with the mayor and the rest of the victims.
He added that the international organization will continue its efforts to guarantee a better future for the eastern African nation.
Francisco Madeira, special representative of the African Union for Somalia, condemned the attack and described it as a horrible act of hatred against the people of the country.
Al-Shabab has committed similar strikes against government buildings in the capital.
Earlier in the day, an unidentified group fired mortar missiles at Villa Somalia, the official residential palace and principal workplace of the President of Somalia.
There were no casualties in the mortar attack.
A previous attack took the lives of 19 people while another 23 were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu.
Another assault by al-Shabaab took place in the southern coastal city of Kismayo where at least 26 people were killed, including a US citizen, a Briton and a Canadian, while 50 others were injured on July 12.
Al-Shabaab pledged allegiance to al-Qaida in 2012 and seeks to establish an Islamic State in Somalia.
Somalia has been in a state of war and upheaval since 1991, when former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown, leaving the country without an effective government and vulnerable to Islamic radical militants, warlords and criminal armed groups.