A car bomb in the Somali capital of Mogadishu killed at least three people and wounded seven, police officials said Wednesday. The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks.
"The suicide car bomb hit a military car. So far three people were killed, including civilians. Seven others were injured and rushed to hospital," Major Farah Abdikadir, a police officer, told Reuters.
The explosion was reportedly heard near the Turkish embassy in the city, and targeted officials from the United Arab Emirates.
"We targeted enemy delegates from the UAE and we inflicted casualties upon them and their forces," al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters. However, the identities of those killed or injured in the explosion had not yet been confirmed.
Wednesday's attack comes after a long string of deadly bombings and assaults by the terror group in the East African country.
On Sunday, fighters affiliated with the Islamist group blew up a car bomb in the capital and fought their way into a national intelligence agency compound. On Saturday, the group’s fighters killed eight police officers in a separate raid on a station near the capital. Last Thursday, al-Shabab stormed a military base in the country’s southwest, killing 16 soldiers, just hours after a separate attack in central Somalia.
In January, the group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb in front of a Mogadishu hotel where Turkish delegates were meeting a day ahead of a visit by Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan.
The terror group has reportedly pledged to step up its attacks against Somali and Kenyan government troops during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to consultancy IHS Jane’s.
Al-Shabab emerged in 2006 from the now-defunct Islamic Courts Union, which controlled Mogadishu. The group was pushed out of the capital and other major cities in 2011, but retains control over large swathes of Somalia’s central and southern areas.