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Somalia suicide blast hits Mogadishu

Rescuers carry away a dead body following a blast outside a district headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia today. Picture by Farah Abdi Warsameh, AP Photo
Abdi Guled

At least four people have died after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of a district headquarters in Mogadishu.

Somali police said the large blast badly damaged the compound of the Hodan district's headquarters.

A reporter claimed at least seven bodies were present at the scene.

Police captain Mohamed Hussein said seven other people were wounded, and most of the victims were district workers and soldiers.

This is the second such attack on a district headquarters in the capital this month.

The Howlwadag district headquarters was targeted on September 2 with at least six people killed, including two children.

The al Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group often claims responsibility.

The Somalia-based group often targets the capital with bombings, including a truck blast last October that left at least 512 people dead.

Somali troops are meant to take over the Horn of Africa nation's security in the coming years from an African Union force but concerns about their readiness remain high.

The UN Security Council recently voted to delay the reduction of troops in the African Union force from October to February and the target date to hand over security to Somali forces to December 2021.

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