Explosions rock two Somalia cities as four killed in Baidoa

NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) — Explosions rocked two of Somalia’s largest cities yesterday as officials said a suicide car bomber detonated near the port in Mogadishu and a land mine in a restaurant on the outskirts of Baidoa killed four people.

Southwestern regional state official Ali Abdullahi, told The Associated Press (AP) that the mine was detonated by remote control as people were dining during the morning rush. Several others were wounded, he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has targetted the city in the past.

In Mogadishu, thick smoke billowed over the port area after police Colonel Ahmed Ali said the car bomber detonated near the gates of the motor vehicle imports duty authority headquarters.

The bomber, which exploded outside the gates, sped through the first security checkpoint before police officers opened fire, Somalia’s information ministry spokesman Ismail Mukhtar told the AP.

Five police officers were wounded, saidSomalia’s police force spokesman Sadik Aden Ali.

The Somalia-based al-Shabab often targets the capital with suicide bombings.

Somali soldiers attend the scene where a suicide car bomber detonated near the gates of the motor vehicle imports duty authority headquarters near the port in Mogadishu. PHOTO: AP