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Explosion rocks Somali theatre

04 April 2012, 16:52

Mogadishu - An explosion killed an unknown number of people at Somalia's newly reopened national theatre in Mogadishu on Wednesday, during an event attended by officials, witnesses said.

Somalia's National Theatre reopened on March 19 for the first time in 20 years, an event the government said signalled a marked improvement in security in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country.

But al-Shabaab rebels, who pulled out of the capital last August, have continued to strike targets in the heart of the coastal city using roadside bombs, mortar and suicide bombers.

Ambulance sirens wailed as they rushed people to hospitals after the blast.

Security officer Mohamed Abdikadir told Reuters there were deaths and injuries but he did not have confirmed numbers. He said the security forces had surrounded the area.

One witness, Said Mugambe, told Reuters he could see four dead bodies. Initial witness reports suggested a suicide bomber was behind the blast.

Al-Shabaab said on March 14, after one its suicide bombers struck at the presidential palace, that more explosions and bombers would follow.

The presidential palace has come under mortar attack several times in the last two weeks. The bombs have mostly fallen short, killing civilians in nearby camps for those displaced by the violence.


- Reuters

Tags somalia

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