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Friday, December 01, 2006

8 die in suicide attack in Somalia

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (AP)— A veiled woman and two other suicide bombers blew up cars outside the base of Somalia's weak government Thursday, killing eight people, including the attackers.

The government blamed foreign Al Qaeda fighters for the attack, which was believed to be only the second suicide bombing in the country.

Deputy Defense Minister Salad Ali Jelle said the bombers detonated their explosives as police tried to inspect their vehicles at a government checkpoint outside Baidoa, the only town the interim government controls.

Jelle said the dead were two policemen, as well as the three drivers and three accomplices. He said non-Somalis were among the dead. Four civilians were wounded.

A policeman at the scene, Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed, said three men captured at the checkpoint appeared to be Africans but were not Somalis.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic movement that controls most of southern Somalia denied that it was behind the bombing. "Terrorism is not our principle and we have nothing to do with what has happened," said spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim Bilaal.

The Islamists have been gaining ground since seizing the capital, Mogadishu, in June.

Somalia in effect has been without a government since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another.
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