Suicide car bomb kills 3 in Somali capital

MOGADISHU Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:06am EDT

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MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb exploded near a building housing government ministries in Mogadishu on Tuesday, killing at least three people. It was the second such attack in the capital this month.

"A suicide car bomber blew up in front of a building that houses the ministry of foreign affairs and the planning ministry," Somali police officer Mohamed Adam told Reuters.

Shopkeeper Farah Hussein said he saw three bodies, including one which appeared to be the suicide bomber.

"I see three dead people including the suicide car bomber who is totally burned and ripped apart," Hussein told Reuters.

"Among the dead is a person who was selling items on a wheelbarrow and a pedestrian. The street is busy and always full of traffic. Fortunately there weren't many pedestrians at that moment."

A Reuters witness said he also saw three bodies. Ambulances evacuated the wounded and government forces fired in the air to disperse a crowd which had gathered in the Kilometer 5 area of the capital.

A suicide truck bomb struck a compound housing several government ministries in Mogadishu on October 4, killing more than 70 people.

Al Shabaab rebels, against whom Somali and Kenyan forces recently launched an attack in the south of the country, claimed responsibility for that attack.

At the time the al Qaeda-linked rebels warned Somalis to stay away from government buildings and military bases, saying "more serious blasts are coming."

Al Shabaab rebels pulled most of their fighters out of Mogadishu in August allowing government troops and African Union soldiers to seize much of the capital. But the militants vowed to carry out attacks on government installations.

(Reporting by Mohamed Ahmed; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Richard Lough and Robert Woodward)

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