Bomb blast hits market in Somali capital

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At least eleven people were killed and several wounded when a vehicle loaded with explosives blew up near a mall in a busy market in the Somali capital on Monday, police said.

"I saw the dead bodies of four people recovered from the debris of a collapsed building and three others were strewn dead outside after the blast had blown them", said shopper Munira Abdukadir.

Witnesses said the police sealed off the scene immediately after the explosion. Another ten people were injured in the blast, which is believed to be the work of al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group now operating in the region.

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Several people were wounded in the blast that occurred in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district, a busy area with shops and restaurants, officials say. "So far, the death toll is 11 civilians and 10 others injured", said Mohamed Hussein, a Somalian police officer now working the scene while speaking to Reuters. On Friday at least 13 Shabaab fighters were killed in a United States army airstrike outside Mogadishu.

Hussein had earlier put the death toll at two.

TRT World's Reagan Des Vignes reports.

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No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion.

The group's stated aim is to remove the Western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Despite being ousted from the capital and most urban centers in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly suicide attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries.

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