September 22, 2018 / 3:48 PM / 2 months ago

Two car bombs explode in Somali capital, one dies

A car burns at the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - One person died and another was injured in two car bombs that exploded in the heart of the Somali capital on Saturday and the Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The bombs detonated in two different cars near a main road in the center of the city. Al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in Mogadishu and other parts of the Horn of Africa country.

“Two people were injured in the two car bombs. One of them died of the wounds,” said Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer.

Al Shabaab told Reuters they had planted the car bombs and that they were targeting a police official but that he had escaped.

Another police officer, Ahmed Nur, said one of the cars was parked and had nobody in it, while the second was moving and the two people inside it had been injured. One of the injured is the one who later died.

On Friday, at least three people were killed in separate attacks in Mogadishu, including a female university student shot dead in her class by two men armed with pistols.

Al Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The group also wants to drive African Union (AU)-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers out of the country.

Reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Writing by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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