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Somalia

Somalia's al Shabaab rebels say they carried out deadly Mogadishu attack

Reuters/Ismail Taxta

Al-Qaeda linked al Shabaab rebels says they carried out the suicide car bomb attack in the Hotel Muna in Hamarweine district in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday which killed at least 15 people and wounded 20 more including six members of parlaiment.

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The bomber detonated the vehicle at a small cafe where people had gathered to drink tea. The café, which is close to a hotel once popular with officials located in the heart of the government district, is also a favourite with government officials.

A spokesman for al Shabaab Abdul'aziz Abu Mus'ab said the explosion was a land mine which had been planted in the area. But, government officials have denied this and say the explosion was a suicide car bomb.

The attack comes as Mogadishu is trying to rebuild itself after the al Shabaab withdrawal and shows that al Shabaab is still able to get into the city and carry out attacks of this kind.

It came on the day the European Union's new special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, was in Mogadishu and met with officials from the embattled government at the presidential palace.

Wednesday's explosion was the deadliest in the war-torn city since October, when a truck packed with explosives killed at least 82 people.

The situation in Somalia, which has been without an effective central government since 1991, will top a conference in London in two weeks.

The United Nations says Somalia is suffering one of the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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