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2 Blasts Hit Mogadishu; 6 Soldiers Killed

  • Abdulaziz Osman

A Somalia soldier stands guard near the destroyed restaurant in Mogadishu, Somalia, Dec. 15, 2016.

A blast believed to be caused an improvised explosive device tore through a Somali Army checkpoint and nearby displaced persons camp Thursday, killing six government soldiers, according to officials.

Abdifitah Omar Halane, Benadir regional administrative spokesman, told VOA that the blast occurred at Ex-control Afgoye, the entry checkpoint to the southwestern part of Mogadishu. Halane said at least 13 other people were injured in the blast, most of them women and children.

In a separate incident, a suspected al-Shabab suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden car near a Mogadishu restaurant, killing himself and wounding seven others, including one journalist.

Halane said the attacker blew himself up at a checkpoint near the Village restaurant, a popular Western-style eatery frequented by local journalists, government officials, and visitors from the diaspora.

The restaurant has been targeted in several previous attacks which killed journalists and government staff.

The car explosion followed a high-speed chase between police and the suspected suicide attacker, according to Halane.

"Police ordered the driver to stop the car, but the attacker detonated the car after it overturned," he said.

A VOA reporter in Mogadishu says the bomber was trying to ram his car into another vehicle carrying a senior police commander.

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