A suicide car bomb at Mogadishu’s traffic police headquarters killed at least two officers today, Somali police say, and the country’s al Shabaab militant group has claimed responsibility.
Three other police were wounded during the attack, said traffic police officer Mohamed Nur. “It was a suicide car bomb that hit the gate. We also shot dead an armed militant who wanted to storm the building,” he said.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said they lost the two attackers and said the death toll on the government side was nine policemen.
It was not possible to verify the death toll independently. Al Shabaab, which frequently attacks military and civilian targets in its campaign to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, has inflated casualty figures in the past.
Local residents said the front of the traffic headquarters was damaged extensively by the blast, which also destroyed nearby shops.