Mogadishu’s mayor and other top government officials were wounded in an explosion at his offices in the Somali capital, his deputy told state radio Wednesday.
“The mayor was wounded in the blast and he is currently being treated. Some of the commissioners of Mogadishu district have also been wounded,” deputy mayor Mohamed Abdullahi Tulah told the government’s radio station Muqdisho.
A security source, who asked not to be named, said a suicide bomber had entered a hall where the officials were meeting and detonated the blast inside.
Earlier, United Nations special envoy James Swan had met with the mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, at the headquarters of the Banadir district, which encompasses Mogadishu, according to the mission’s Twitter account.
However, UN sources told reporters he had left by the time of the explosion.
“The blast occurred inside but we are not sure what exactly caused it, some reports we are getting indicate it was caused by a suicide bomber… and there are casualties,” said security official Mahdi Abdirahman.
He did not give further details on the wounded.
“The blast was very heavy, and I saw people, fleeing some with shrapnel wounds outside the Banadir administration headquarters,” said witness Mohamud Shariif, referring to the regional government offices.
Mogadishu is regularly hit by attacks by the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab Islamist group, which has fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government.
The city was on Monday struck by a car bomb which left 17 dead and more than two dozen wounded.