Al-Shabaab takes credit for Mogadishu blasts, including one that killed 10

Story highlights

  • Al-Shabaab claims responsibility; says slain official worked with 'foreign' spies
  • Sources: 8 people injured are treated at a Mogadishu hospital
  • In a separate bombing, a lawmaker's car explodes but he is unhurt
  • Al-Shabaab's mission includes turning Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state
A former government official was among 10 people killed in a bombing Saturday in Somalia's capital, with Al-Shabaab -- the Islamist militant group that's long been tied to violence in the region -- claiming responsibility for the attack.
The slain official, Abdikafi Holowle Osman, was a former Benadir regional administrative secretary and an active campaigner against Al-Shabaab.
He died when a bomb went off as he was driving in KM4, a busy junction in Mogadishu, police said. Police Col. Kamal Farah said the explosive device was attached to Osman's when it went off shortly after noon (5 a.m. ET).
Three security guards and six civilians who were nearby also died in the blast, according to Farah. Hospital sources said at least eight people injured were being treated at Media Hospital.
Separately, there were no injuries after a device attached to the car of Somali lawmaker Abdullah Ahmed exploded outside a hotel near the port, close to the heavily fortified government district. The prime minister's office indicated that a Somali citizen had alerted authorities that the car had been rigged with explosives.
In a statement, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for both Saturday attacks in the eastern African nation's capital. Al-Shabaab official Ali Mohamed Hussein accused Osman of working with "foreign spy agencies" based southwest of Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab is seeking to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state, though it has carried out attacks in other African countries as well. A prime example of the latter was last September's attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall, which ended with at least 67 dead.
Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed issued a statement Saturday, sending condolences to the families of those killed in the latest violence.
"Shedding the blood of innocent civilians has no basis in our Islamic religion or in Somali culture," he said.