At least 39 people were killed in a powerful explosion in Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu. Al-Shabab, which is considered the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa, claimed responsibility for the attack. The militant group, which opposes Somalia’s federal government and wants to impose sharia law, has carried out many deadly attacks inside Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including in neighbouring Kenya.
The group claimed that a Mogadishu hotel was the intended target, but a police officer said militants detonated a bomb while trying to assassinate a judge. The car bomb went off near the residence of appeals court chief Judge Abshir Omar, and security forces stationed outside the judge’s house fought off gunmen who tried to force their way inside.