Deadly car bomb blast in Somalia's capital, say police

Rescuers carry away a man who was severely injured by a blast in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. A Somali police officer says a number of people died in a powerful car bomb explosion near a mall close to local government offices in Somalia's capital Monday. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

NAIROBI, Kenya - Somalia's homegrown extremist rebels, al-Shabab, have claimed responsibility for a car bomb explosion on Monday that killed at least seven people in Somalia's capital.

Al-Shabab said its website that the attack was aimed at a gathering of government officials and security and intelligence personnel.

At least nine people were also injured in the blast by an explosives-laden car parked near a mall close to Mogadishu's local government offices in the Hamarweyne district, said Police Capt. Mohamed Hussein.

Al-Shabab, who are linked to al-Qaida, have been ousted from Mogadishu and most other urban centres in the south and central areas of the country, but the group continues to carry out deadly suicide attacks in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

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