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Report: Somalia

At least eight killed in Mogadishu theatre attack

Reuters/Omar Faruk

An attack at the National Theatre in Mogadishu has left several civilians dead and injured, but failed to kill any Somali government ministers.

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The woman who is believed to have been responsible for the suicide attack, had blended in with the gathering at the theatre where celebrations were underway to mark the first anniversary of the launch of Somali National Television.

Somali Olympic Committee head Aden Yabarow Wiish and Somali Football Federation chief Said Mohamed Nur were among at least eight people killed.

The ceremony was also attended by a number of top government officials.

The explosion happened as Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali was standing at a podium to deliver a speech. The prime minister, who was also present, escaped unharmed.

Al-Shebab insurgents claimed responsibility for the blast yesterday in yet another stark reminder of the fragile security that reigns in the capital Mogadishu.

The bombing was an apparent attempt to kill the prime minister.

According to eyewitness accounts, the bomber had been stopped at the entrance but the prime minister’s security team insisted she be allowed in because she was carrying police ID.

While the al Qaeda-allied group pulled its fighters out of the capital last August, they have struck targets regularly in the heart of the coastal city using roadside bombs, mortars and suicide bombers.

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