A roadside bomb wounded Somalia’s new interior minister and killed a security guard on Thursday in the latest violence in Mogadishu, witnesses said.

The blast struck a car transporting Abdukadir Ali Omar near the Somali capital’s Bakara market area.

“We heard a big explosion, which seemed to be a landmine targeting the car,” witness Abdirahman Ali told Reuters. “I was standing opposite. Bodyguards opened fire. The minister was injured. One of his security men died and another was injured.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility though Islamist militants are fighting the Somali government and frequently carry out such attacks.

Omar, who is part of a new government seeking to end 18 years of conflict in the Horn of Africa nation, was treated for shoulder injuries at a Mogadishu hospital then discharged.

“I am quite good now. I am sitting,” he told Reuters.

“Somali people don’t need more conflict. They only need peace now. I am not pointing the finger at any group, but we know very well among ourselves.”



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