Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Somalia: Blast Kills At Least 8 At Somali Tea Shop

An explosion at a tea shop on the outskirts of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has killed at least 8 people, as many as six of them government soldiers.

The Somali defense ministry says Friday's blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.

Media reports say a senior military officer and several of his bodyguards were among those killed, though it is not clear if he was the target.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, but al-Shabab militants periodically carry out bomb attacks in Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab once controlled most of the Somali capital, but the group was driven out of Mogadishu and other major Somali cities by an African Union-led peacekeeping force.

The al-Qaida-linked group is still considered a threat. In September, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an assault on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, that killed more than 60 people.

VOA's Somali service contributed to this report.

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