A suicide bomber has attacked a government office in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, causing a nearby school to collapse, police said Sunday.
The car bomb in Howlwadag district killed three soldiers and injured 14 people, including six children, local officials told BBC Somali.
The blast also damaged nearby houses and blew the roof off a mosque.
How it happened
Militant group al Shabaab, which has waged an insurgency for more than 10 years, said it carried out the attack.
“The Mujahedeen attacked the headquarter of the apostate administration… using a vehicle loaded with explosives, there are casualties,” said abrief statement posted on a pro-Shabaab website.
The three soldiers died as they stopped the explosives-laden car from entering a government compound, local official Salah Hassan Omar said.
Raqiya Mahamed Ali, who was in the compound at the time, said: “We were in the middle of our usual work when the explosion happened. I hid under the table. There was a lot of gunfire at our gate… when I came out, I saw many people injured on the ground and others dead,” she told Reuters.
Somalia has faced instability and violence since 1991, when the military government was overthrown.
The militant group has imposed a strict version of Sharia in areas under its control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.
A truck attack in Mogadishu in October last year killed at least 500 people in the deadliest bombing in Somalia.
A man accused of leading an al-Shabab unit that carried out the attack was sentenced to death in February. – BBC