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4 Killed in Mogadishu District HQ Blast


Somali soldiers walk near a destroyed building after a car bomb in Mogadishu, May 14, 2019.

Police in Somalia say four people were killed Tuesday when a suicide bomber hit offices in the Warta Nabadda district of Mogadishu.

Witnesses told VOA's Somali service that a Toyota Noah vehicle filled with explosives was driven into the district headquarters during food distribution for Ramadan.

Police say at least nine people were injured in the blast, but witnesses put the number of injured at 30.

The targeted building is near the Somali presidential palace, Villa Somalia, also located in Warta Nabadda district.

Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Monday, the deputy leader of al-Shabab, Mahad Karate, cautioned his militants to avoid shedding Muslim blood. The speech contradicts the group's usual tactics of targeting civilian areas in Mogadishu, including hotels and restaurants.

In a separate incident, two soldiers were killed Tuesday after a roadside explosion hit a military vehicle near Siinka Dheer area just outside Mogadishu. Witnesses told VOA Somali that the soldiers were returning from the funeral of a government soldier who as killed in Mogadishu last night.