Blast at Somali presidential compound kills 3: African Union

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 14, 2012 6:50 AM

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A blast inside the presidential compound in the Somali capital Mogadishu killed at least three people on Wednesday, the African Union (AU) said.

At least four people were also wounded in the explosion near a building used by the speaker of parliament, Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the AU's peacekeeping AMISOM force in Somalia, told Reuters.

Ankunda said officials suspected the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device, although a senior police officer at the scene said a suicide bomber had been responsible.

"It went off in front of the speaker's building at the front gate," Abdirashid Mohamed Ali, national security adviser to the prime minister, told Reuters, speaking from inside the compound.

"I think it was a remote controlled device," he said.

A presidency official, who declined to be named, said he had heard the death toll from the explosion was four, with five wounded.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu and Richard Lough in Nairobi; Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Heavens)