Extremist attack in Somalia’s capital kills at least 9

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A large explosion in Somalia’s capital killed at least nine people and injured eight others, a health official said Saturday.

Dr. Mohamed Nur at the Medina Hospital told reporters that the toll reflected only the dead and wounded who were taken to the facility in Mogadishu where he works.

“I am sure the number is bigger as some of the victims were rushed to other hospitals, such as the privately owned ones,” he said.

The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.

A Somali police spokesman said Mogadishu’s police commissioner, Col. Farhan Mohamud Qaroleh, was the target of the attack but he was safe.

“A suicide car bomber with heavy explosives plotted by the terrorist group al-Shabab has targeted the Mogadishu police commissioner,” police spokesman Said Adam Ali said. “They hit the vehicle of the Mogadishu police commissioner.”

It was the second such large explosion in the city this month. A blast targeting a teashop killed at least 10 people last week.

Last month, a suicide bomb attack at a military base in Mogadishu killed at least 15 people.