Suicide bomber kills six in attack on Mogadishu mayor's office

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Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar OsmanImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Mayor of Mogadishu Abdirahman Omar Osman was seriously injured in the attack

A suicide bomber has seriously injured the mayor of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, killing at least six other people, officials told the BBC.

The female bomber blew herself up inside the office of Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman during a security meeting.

Militant Islamist group al-Shabab says it carried out the attack, hoping to target the new UN special envoy to Somalia, James Swan, a US citizen.

But he had met the mayor earlier, leaving before the blast occurred.

It is unclear how the bomber managed to enter the heavily guarded building.

The victims, five men and one woman, were all government officials, the BBC was told.

Al-Shabab seeks to overthrow Somalia's central government and has been carrying out regular attacks in Mogadishu, despite the heavy presence of African Union peacekeepers and US-trained Somali troops.

The group is affiliated with al-Qaeda and remains a powerful presence in rural Somalia.