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Al Shabaab bombings in Somalia kill 9, including MPs

One blast targeted a delegation of MPs holding reconciliation meetings in the central town of Dhusamareb.

somali rebels 1205002Enlarge
Al Qaeda linked Al Shabab recruits walk through the Somali capital Mogadishu on Mar. 5, 2012 following their graduation. (Mohamed ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)

Rebels tied to the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al Shabaab killed at least nine people, including two Members of Parliament, in bomb attacks in Somalia on Tuesday.

Early on Wednesday, it emerged that a suicide bomber had targeted a delegation of lawmakers holding reconciliation talks with locals in the central Somali town of Dhusamareb in Galgadud region, AFP reported.

The attack came shortly after the United Nations, African Union and East Africa's main diplomatic body IGAD issued a rare  joint statement warning that efforts at establishing peace in Somalia were in jeopardy, the news agency reports.

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The BBC said it had collected eyewitness reports that the attack targeted the group of about 20 politicians at an outdoor cafe.

It adds that Al-Sunna Wal Jama'a, the pro-government militia which controls most of Galgadud, said that two MPs and the suicide bomber were among the dead, while several MPs and prominent politicians, including former Security Minister Ahmed Abdi Salam, were injured. All Africa estimates that up to 30 people were injured.

A separate car bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu killed three people, the Wall Street Journal says.

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It explains that most suicide bombings in Somalia are carried out by Al Shabaab, which is facing increasing military pressure from African Union troops in the capital, Ethiopian troops in the west and Kenyan troops in the south.

One of the victims in Mogadishu was a government worker, and Al Jazeera says Al Shabaab cited his job as the reason he was targeted.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120502/al-shabaab-bombings-somalia-kill-9-including-mps