Somali government spokesperson wounded in suicide bomb attack -police, state media

MOGADISHU, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Somalia’s government spokesperson was wounded on Sunday in an explosion at a road junction set off by a suicide bomber in the capital Mogadishu, police and the national news agency said.

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, in comments on its Andalus radio station, claimed responsibility for the attack on Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, who was rushed to hospital and reported to be in stable condition.

At the scene of the blast, the remains of the suicide bomber were scattered on the groundclose to Moalimuu’s four-wheel-drive vehicle with its back windows blown off.

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Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble, in whose office Moalimuu works, called the bombing an “odious terrorist attack” in a statement on Twitter.

Nasra Bashir Ali, state media special correspondent in Roble’s office, tweeted that the bomber targeted Moalimuu as he was passing in his vehicle, and that his injuries were not life-threatening.

Al Shabaab frequently carries out gun and bomb attacks on Somali security and government targets, but also on civilians.

It aims to topple the U.N.-backed central government and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law. It also carries out attacks on African Union peacekeeping troops.

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Reporting by Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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