Somalia unrest: Deadly blast in Mogadishu

Blast site in Mogadishu, Somalia, 3 May Policemen and civilians were among the dead, officials said

At least six people have been killed in a bomb explosion in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack, targeting the vehicle of a prominent former government official, who was killed.

The number of attacks in Mogadishu has increased in recent months.

Many have been blamed on al-Shabab, which has lost ground to government forces in recent years but still controls many southern rural areas.

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The blast took place near the city centre's "Kilometre 4" district, close to the Turkish embassy.

It was unclear whether the explosives had been attached to the vehicle or placed on the roadside and detonated by remote control.

The official who died was named as Abdikafi Hilowle, a former secretary for the city's administration.

Al-Shabab's military spokesman, Abdiaziz Abu Musab, told news agencies that the al-Qaeda-linked group had carried out the attack.

Policemen and civilians were among the dead, officials said.

Somalia has been ravaged by constant warfare since 1991, when Siad Barre was ousted.

In recent years, al-Shabab has been driven from most of the major city centres by government forces backed by an African Union mission.

But the militants continue to launch regular attacks and bombings.

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