3 dead in blast in Somali government compound

AP News
Posted: Mar 14, 2012 7:32 AM
3 dead in blast in Somali government compound

Three people including a suicide bomber were killed in a bomb attack inside the government compound in Somalia's capital on Wednesday, security officials said.

The blast happened near the home of the former parliamentary speaker, said Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda, the spokesman for the African Union force known as AMISOM.

The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Villa Somalia is a heavily fortified compound in the heart of the city where the most senior Somali government officials, including the president, have their offices. Some also live inside the compound.

One of the three dead was a suicide bomber, said Abdullahi Hassan Barise, a high ranking police officer. He said six others were injured, and that the death toll may rise. Barise is the commander of the central investigation department.

The weak U.N.-backed government is supported by nearly 10,000 African Union troops. They are battling against an al-Qaida-linked Islamist insurgency. Bomb attacks from the insurgent militia al-Shabab are frequent, and have increased since the militant group pulled back from its bases in the capital in August.