A suicide bomber has detonated explosives in the office of Mogadishu‘s mayor, killing six people and badly wounding the mayor.
The attack, claimed by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group al-Shabaab, happened minutes after the new United Nations envoy to Somalia, James Swan, left the compound.
The mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, and his deputy were rushed to a hospital with critical wounds, police captain Mohamed Hussein said.
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Six officials were killed and six others were wounded, Mohamed Abdi Hayir, Somalia’s information minister said.
He told reporters the mayor was being treated and gave no further details. He also confirmed an investigation was underway.
It was unclear how the bomber managed to enter the mayor’s office during a security meeting.
Some security officials said the attacker might have coordinated with corrupt officials, offering them bribes for access.
In a tweet before the bombing, the UN mission in Somalia posted photos of the smiling mayor and envoy, saying Mr Swan had received an overview of the “challenges” in the region.
Al-Shabaab regularly targets government buildings such as the presidential palace and other high-profile areas of Mogadishu with bombings.
The Somalia-based group was chased out of Mogadishu years ago, but still controls parts of the African nation’s south and central regions, and is a frequent target of US airstrikes.