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Official: Security Forces Minimize Car Bomb Attack in Mogadishu

FILE - A Somali soldier stands guard near a destroyed auto rickshaw after a car bomb was detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug 4, 2017. At least three people were killed in the blast. On Aug. 10, another car bomb blast injured three people in the city.

At least three people were wounded Thursday after a car packed with explosives blew up in Mogadishu.

Somali authorities said the car exploded at Maka al-Mukaramah, Mogadishu's busiest street, minutes after it was stopped by intel forces.

A Somali official who asked not to be named told VOA, "The alleged attack was thwarted when security forces who were closely following the car in the city prevented it from proceeding."

The official said the target of the suspected attack was not yet clear.

The violence occurred seven days after al-Shabab militants fatally shot Mohamed Ali Elmi, the governor of Galgadud region in central Somalia, and his brother in Mogadishu. Less than three hours before that, a car packed with explosives blew up in the center of the capital, killing at least three civilians.

Meanwhile, Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed said Thursday that he had authorized a coordinated strike with international partners that killed a high-level al-Shabab leader who was behind Mogadishu bombings and assassinations.

"In the past two weeks, our brave Somali security forces have successfully disrupted multiple al-Shabab tax stations and removed a key al-Shabab governor, Ali Mohamed Hussein [Ali Jabal]," the president said in a statement.

U.S. African Command confirmed last week that an earlier airstrike had killed senior al-Shabab member Hussein, who served as the group's shadow governor for the Mogadishu area.