Suicide car bomb in Mogadishu kills two Somali police

A suicide car bomb at Mogadishu’s traffic police headquarters killed at least two officers on Monday, Somali police said, and the country’s al Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility.

FILE: A car burns following a blast near the heavily fortified gates of the airport in Mogadishu

Three others were wounded during the attack, said Mohamed Nur, a traffic police officer. One of the assailants was killed in a gun fight after the blast.

“It was a suicide car bomb that hit the gate. We also shot dead an armed militant who wanted to storm the building,” Nur told Reuters.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said they lost the two attackers and said the death toll on the government side was nine policemen.

Local residents said the front of the traffic headquarters was damaged extensively. The blast also destroyed nearby shops.

The al Shabaab militant group, which wants to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, carries out frequent attacks on military targets and civilian facilities like hotels and restaurants, mostly in the capital Mogadishu.