Car bomb strikes Somali capital


An AMISOM soldier stands guard at Hotel Uruba in Mogadishu on October 24, 2012. Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Shabab insurgents are on the back foot, reeling from a string of losses as they battle a 17,000-strong African Union force as well as Ethiopian troops and Somali forces. But while the extremist movement is badly damaged a hard core remain a potent threat, linking up with regional Islamist groups and leaving operatives to launch attacks across the south, analysts warn.



A car bomb struck Somalia's Mogadishu today, officials said, according to Reuters

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The attack struck a main road just as an African Union peacekeeper convoy passed by, witness Samira Hussein told Reuters.

"We looked back and saw thick smoke," Hussein said. 

The death toll beyond that of the bomber was not immediately clear. 

Police officer Abdullahi Barise told the Associated Press three people standing nearby were injured but reported no additional casualties, while senior policemen Abdifatah Sabriye told Reuters two people were killed. 

Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, said Reuters.

The militant group is believed tied to Al Qaeda and lost control of Mogadishu last August, but their operatives continue to launch attacks in the region, said AP