A large explosion outside a school in Somalia’s capital has killed at least five people, including students, witnesses said.
he extremist group Al-Shabab said it carried out the attack.
The al Qaida-linked group controls large parts of rural Somalia and continues to frustrate efforts at rebuilding the African nation after three decades of conflict.
The blast sent a plume of smoke above a busy part of Mogadishu during the morning rush hour.
Abdulkadir Adan, of the Amin ambulance service, confirmed the five deaths, and the service said at least 15 wounded people were rushed to hospital.
“This is a tragedy,” he said.
Photos showed the blast damaged part of the school, with emergency workers looking through the collapsed roof beams and wooden benches.
Al-Shabab, in a statement carried by its Andalus radio service, said it targeted Western officials being escorted by the African Union (AU)peacekeeping convoy.
But a witness, Hassan Ali, said that a private security company was escorting the officials and said he saw four of the security personnel wounded.
The attack occurred as Somalia faces major questions about its political and security future.
The AU peacekeeping force was meant to withdraw from the country, but its mission could be extended amid concerns that Somali forces are not ready to assume responsibility for security.
A long-delayed presidential vote was meant to take place in February but now looks set to be held next year.