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Bomb Blast Kills Seven In Latest Somalia Violence

Police in Somalia say a powerful bomb blast has killed seven people in a residential area near Mogadishu.

The officials say the bomb exploded early Friday in the town of Agooye, just east of the capital. They say the explosion destroyed two houses. Police say four children were among the victims.

It is not known who was responsible for the bombing. An investigation is under way.

Somalia's government has struggled to control violence in Mogadishu since driving out a rival Islamist movement late last year with the help of Ethiopian troops. Attacks on government targets have become an almost daily occurrence.

Earlier this week, interim prime minister Ali Mohamed Gedi appealed to international donors for more than $32 million to improve security in Mogadishu ahead of a national reconciliation conference scheduled for next month.

Some 1,200 African Union troops, all from Uganda, arrived last week to help the government in its effort to restore peace. The AU plans to send several thousand troops to replace the Ethiopian forces.

Somalia has lacked a stable central government since 1991 when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.