Bomb Explodes Inside Bus Carrying UN Staff In Somalia, Police Say

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A police official says a bomb explosion on a bus carrying U.N. employees in northern Somalia has killed at least six people.

Col. Ali Salad, a senior police officer in the semiautonomous Puntland region, said by phone that dead in the town of Garowe comprised both foreigners and Somalis. “Its a dark day – but terrorists must know that the blood they shed will not go in vain. We shall deal with them with an iron hand.” He said.

The Al-Qaida-linked Al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the group’s Andalus radio.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A bomb blast early Monday ripped through a bus carrying U.N. employees in Puntland, a semiautonomous region in northern Somalia that has been relatively free of violence, according to a Somali police official.

The bombing took place in Garowe, the regional capital of Puntland, but there was no information yet on casualties, said Yusuf Ali.

The bomb was apparently planted under a seat and was detonated by remote control, according to Ali.

No group immediately claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Bomb attacks are not common in the northern parts of Somalia, unlike in the south where al-Shabab militants are waging a deadly war against the Somali government and the African Union forces bolstering it.

Last week at least 10 people were killed in an assault on the offices of Somalia’s education ministry.

Despite losing a lot of ground in recent times and losing top leaders in airstrikes, al-Shabab militants are still able to launch attacks in different parts of Somalia and even across the border, especially in Kenya.

The al-Qaida-linked armed group claimed responsibility for an attack ealier this month at a university campus in northeastern Kenya in which militants killed 148 people, most of them students.

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