Two Somali MPs killed and six hurt in suicide attack

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The Independent Online

At least two Somali MPs and three civilians were killed yesterday in two separate attacks.

The MPs died in a suicide attack that targeted a café where government and military officials were meeting, said a parliamentarian who escaped unhurt.

Three people were killed after a bomb concealed in a civilian car went off in the capital, Mogadishu, police said.

Dahir Amin Jesow, a parliamentarian, said at least six MPs and military officials were among those wounded – some seriously – in the attack on the café in the town of Dhusomareb, north of Mogadishu.

The officials were part of a delegation that had recently arrived in the region to help form a local government.

Most suicide bombings in Somalia are carried out by the militant group al-Shabaab, which over the past year has faced increasing military pressure from African Union troops in the capital, as well as Ethiopian troops in the west and Kenyan troops in the south.

The success against al-Shabaab has allowed the Mogadishu-based central government to start reaching out to regions outside of Mogadishu, the task the government officials were carrying out during yesterday's attack.

Dhusomareb, which lies about 400 miles north of Mogadishu, is under the control of a moderate pro-government force.

Somalia's Prime Minister, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, said last month that al-Shabaab militants were fleeing to northern Somalia in the face of the increased military pressure.