Suicide bombers kill at least 28 in Somalia
A wave of suicide bombings killed at least 28 people across northern Somalia on Wednesday in five attacks that snatched attention from political crisis talks taking place in neighbouring Kenya, Reuers reported.
No group immediately claimed responsibility. But suspicion fell on Islamist al Shabaab insurgents who have often launched attacks further south to coincide with international efforts to end turmoil in the lawless Horn of Africa nation.
The car bombers struck as Somalia's interim government leaders met regional heads of state in Nairobi. The four-year-old administration is under pressure to end the chaos and share some power with moderate opposition figures.
Washington, the Somali government and its military backer Ethiopia say the rebels are linked to al Qaeda.
"We have our suspects ... the extremists who want to destabilise even the peaceful areas," Ali Ahmed Jama, the Somali Foreign Minister, told Reuters at the meeting.
"They wanted to convey a message that they can reach everywhere ... Usually they seek soft targets."
Twenty people died at Ethiopia's embassy in Hargeisa, capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland, and at least five others were killed in synchronised blasts at the local president's office and a U.N. Development Programme building.
Journalist Ali Jama Mohamed was walking past the presidency when a car crashed into its doors.
"There was a big explosion and I saw many people, mostly pedestrians and some security guards, thrown to the floor. Some were dead and others wounded," Mohamed said.
At the same time, at least three more people died when two suicide car bombers wrecked an intelligence headquarters in Bosasso, in the neighbouring semi-autonomous region of Puntland.