Mogadishu: At least six people were killed and the mayor of Mogadishu suffered serious injuries in a suicide attack inside his office during a high-level security meeting on Wednesday (local time). The mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, was in critical condition with head and stomach injuries, officials told The New York Times.
The Shabab, an Islamist extremist group with links to Al Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the attack. It added that the attack targeted James Swan, a United Nations' special representative for Somalia, who had visited the mayor's office earlier Wednesday but left before the attack, according to Radio Andalus, the group's radio station.
The Shabab, which seeks to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed government, often targets government offices and other high-profile places in Somalia's capital.
It was not clear how the attacker was permitted to enter the room and detonate explosives. But people familiar with the mayor's office, on conditions of anonymity, said that the room was closely guarded and that the bomber must have been familiar with the guards in order to enter.
The attack came just 11 days after 26 people were killed in a suicide car bombing and gun attack on a hotel in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo. The attack killed a former politician and a prominent Somali-Canadian television journalist, Hodan Nalayeh.