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Somali capital rocked by two bomb attacks on Thursday


At least six people, mostly soldiers, were on Thursday killed and several others wounded in a bomb blast at a Somali army checkpoint in the capital, Mogadishu.

Witnesses say there were many civilians and soldiers in the vicinity when the explosion occurred.

“Six people, most of them soldier, were killed (by the bomb) which was planted under a tree close to a security checkpoint. Several others also wounded,” said Abdifatah Omar Halane, a Mogadishu administrations spokesman.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but the Islamist group al-Shabab is used to carrying out such operations in Mogadishu.

The group is trying to disrupt the ongoing legislative elections in Somalia which form part of efforts to rebuild the war-ravaged country.

The electoral process should lead to the appointment of a president by December 28.

The attack however was the second to have hit the Somali capital on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, a car bomb blew up at a checkpoint near the national theatre in the capital Mogadishu, killing the bomber and wounding several others, police said.

“The bomber blew up the car after police ordered him to stop at gunpoint. We are investigating,” Abdikadir Hussein, a police officer told the Reuters news agency.

A witness told AFP the vehicle exploded with a little delay, giving people time to flee the scene.

Al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda is seeking to topple the western-backed Somali government and impose a strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

The group once held large swathes of Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu before it was driven out of the capital in 2011.

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