Car bomb explodes near bus in Mogadishu; 7 dead

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MOGADISHU, Somalia  — An explosives-laden car that apparently was targeting a truck full of Somali government officials instead hit a civilian car and exploded, setting a nearby mini-bus on fire and killing at least seven people Monday, police and witnesses said.

Flames and smoke rose over the explosion as emergency vehicles drove to the scene. The blast happened close to the Somali government’s headquarters.

Mohamed Abdi, a police officer who was injured in the blast, said it appeared that the target of the attack was a truck of Somali intelligence officials. Abdi Mohamud Aden, a Somali police captain, said at least seven people were killed and 10 wounded. He said that number could rise.

A journalist who was wounded in the blast while sitting in a nearby restaurant said several people inside the restaurant were injured.

The militant group al-Shabab has continued to carry out terror attacks in Somalia’s capital since being pushed out of Mogadishu in late 2011. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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