Somali official: Lawmaker killed in suicide bombing on cafe where

MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least two Somali lawmakers and three civilians were killed in bombings Tuesday in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation, officials said.

At least two lawmakers were killed in a suicide attack that targeted a cafe where government and military officials were meeting, said a parliamentarian who escaped unhurt.

Three people were killed after a bomb concealed in a civilian car went off in the capital, Mogadishu, police officer Yasin Hassan said.

Parliamentarian Dahir Amin Jesow said at least six lawmakers and military officials were among the wounded, some seriously, in the cafe attack in the town of Dhusomareb, north of Mogadishu. Somalia has 550 members of parliament.

The officials were part of a delegation that recently arrived in the region to help form a local government.

Most suicide bombings in Somalia are carried out by the militant group al-Shabab, which over the last year has faced increasing military pressure from African Union troops in the capital, as well as Ethiopian troops in the west and Kenyan troops in the south.

The success against al-Shabab has allowed the Mogadishu-based central government to start reaching out to regions outside of Mogadishu, the task the government officials were carrying out during Tuesday’s attack.

Dhusomareb, which lies about 640 kilometers (400 miles) north of Mogadishu, is under the control of a moderate pro-government force. Somalia’s prime minister said last month that al-Shabab militants are fleeing to northern Somalia in the face of the increased military pressure.

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By Associated Press