(Updates death toll, adds city official killed, Shabaab claim
By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar
MOGADISHU May 3 At least six people were killed
in Mogadishu on Saturday, including a senior city council
official, when a remotely controlled bomb planted by al Shabaab
insurgents exploded on a busy street in the Somali capital,
Somalia's fragile government is struggling to impose any
sense of order more than two decades after the fall of dictator
Mohamed Siad Barre tipped the country into chaos.
The city has been hit by a series of suicide bomb attacks in
the past few months, claimed by al Qaeda-linked militants al
Shabaab, who have waged a sustained guerrilla campaign even
after they were pushed out of the city in mid-2011.
Police said the bomb that killed the city official was
hidden in a pile of rubbish placed along the road. They said the
other people killed were thought to be his guards.
At least 25 people were wounded, medical officials said.
"The secretary general of the Banadir (Mogadishu) region,
Abdikafi Hilowle, was targeted and he died," Major Abdikadir
Mohamed, a police officer told Reuters.
"A remotely controlled bomb hidden in paper bags of rubbish
destroyed his car."
The incident happened as the car passed through the
'Kilometer 4' junction. The Kilometer 4 neighbourhood is
Mogadishu's commercial and administrative centre.
Gunfire from police also rung out through the district, as
police fired in the air.
A Reuters witness saw the wrecked government car and five
wounded people lying on the street.
Al Shabaab militants - who want to impose a strict version
of the sharia law in Somalia - have also claimed responsibility
for similar attacks in the past.
The group claimed eight people were killed in the attack.
"We have killed a senior city official called Abdikafi
Hilowle and 7 of his bodyguards. We killed him to liberate the
Somalis," sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, the spokesman for al
Shabaab's military operation told Reuters.
Western nations involved in Somalia worry it could sink back
into chaos and provide a launch pad for Islamist militancy.
(Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Louise Ireland and