At least 7 killed, dozens wounded in car bomb blast near Somali capital

A car bomb targeting a group of Turkish contractors exploded on Saturday in Afgoye, northwest of the capital Mogadishu, left at least four dead, and wounding dozens of others, police told reporters. It was not known who carried out the attack but residents and police said al Shabaab fighters had tried to attack Afgoye, about 30 km from Mogadishu, late on Friday and were repulsed.

At least seven people were killed and more than 20 others wounded when a suicide car bomber targeted a construction site along a highway outside Somalia's capital, police said Saturday.

Six Turkish nationals were among the wounded, with two in serious condition, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The Turkish construction workers appeared to be the bomber's target, police Col. Abdi Abdullahi said.

Most of the casualties were police officers providing security for the Turkish workers constructing a highway between the capital, Mogadishu, and the agricultural town of Afgoye, 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the city.

Among injured were three who sustained life threatening injuries and were admitted to hospitals in Mogadishu for treatment, he added.

He said security officials reached the crime scene and started an investigation, but no arrests have been made yet.

"A speeding suicide car bomb rammed into a place where the Turkish engineers and Somali police were having lunch," police officer Nur Ali told Reuters from Afgoye.

"So far we know three Turkish engineers and their translator were injured. Two other police men were injured in the ," Ali said later when asked about casualties.



Turkish engineers are helping with road construction in Somalia. A group of engineers was among those hit in late December in a blast at a checkpoint in Mogadishu that killed at least 90 people.

"We heard a huge blast and soon clouds of smoke into the air. Before the blast, several Turkish engineers and well armed convoy of Somali police were at the scene," Farah Abdullahi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters from Afgoye.

"We see casualties being carried but we cannot make if they are dead or injured."

"We heard a huge blast and soon clouds of smoke into the air. Before the blast, several Turkish engineers and well armed convoy of Somali police were at the scene," Farah Abdullahi, a shopkeeper, told Reuters from Afgoye.

"We see casualties being carried but we cannot make if they are dead or injured."

"The terrorists wanted to kill constructing the road between Mogadishu and Afgoye," Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar told dpa.

Omar said the militants were behind the attack and had claimed responsibility on their media outlet Radio Andalus.

Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab had claimed responsibility for recent attacks in the Horn of African country, including a devastating suicide attack that killed over 85 people, including two Turkish nationals, and wounded over 150 others.

has invested heavily in Somalia, with technical and development assistance exceeding $1 billion, according to the Turkish government. Turkish companies run the international airport and seaport in Mogadishu, and in 2016 the Turkish president inaugurated Turkey's largest embassy complex in the world there.



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