Eight killed in car bomb attack near Mogadishu

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Eight killed in car bomb attack near Mogadishu

In the latest attack by Al Qaeda jihadists in the country, eight people were killed and over a dozen injured in a car bombing near a school in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Thursday, police said.

Abdifatah Adan, a spokesman for Somalia's police, said in a brief statement that eight civilians were killed and 17 others wounded in the blast.

Security official Mohamed Abdillahi told AFP earlier that the blast was caused by a car bomb that left 11 students injured.

He said that we don't know the target of the attack.

A large convoy with troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia Amisom, the AU force fighting the militants, was passing through the area when the bomb went off, according to Al-Shabaab.

I was close to the area when the blast occurred, and there was an Amisom convoy. Witnesses said the bomb caused heavy damage to the school and vehicles parked nearby.

The school building was badly damaged and some of their school buses destroyed, Ahmed Bare, a security guard at a nearby building, told AFP.

Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Mogadishu's Aamin ambulance service, shared photos of the rubble-strewn scene on Twitter and called the bombing a tragedy Al Qaeda linked militants, most recently targeting a prominent Somali journalist who was killed in a bombing on Saturday. Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled, the director of government-owned Radio Mogadishu, was a fierce critic of the Islamists.

Al-Shabaab, which has been waging a violent insurgency against the country's fragile government since 2007, said its fighters had long pursued the journalist.

The militants also claimed two attacks in September that killed 17 people.

On 25 September, a car bomber in the presidential palace killed eight people, including the prime minister's adviser for women and human rights, Hibaq Abukar.

Eleven days earlier, nine people, most of them members of Somalia's security forces, died in a blast near a Mogadishu checkpoint.

Al-Shabaab controlled the capital until 2011 when it was pushed out by Amisom troops, but it still holds territory in the countryside and launches attacks on government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.