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At least seven people were killed, including two lawmakers, one bodyguard and four civilians, while seven were wounded in a suicide bomb attack in a restaurant of a hotel in Dhusamareeb town, the capital city of Galgadud region, in central Somalia at noon today.
The attack targeted a lunch meeting of high ranking Somali lawmakers and politicians from the central regions of Somalia who have been visiting Galgadud over the last three days to discuss setting up a regional administration. Initial reports confirmed that two Somali lawmakers, Yusuf Mirre Seerar and Abdiwali Aw Mohamuud, were killed in the attack. An unconfirmed number of well-known officials, including Ahmed Abdisalaan Haaji Aden, were among those wounded.
Guriceel ASWJ governor Osman Isse who spoke to Somalia Report said that at least three people were confirmed dead while officials in Galgadud region said seven people were wounded in the attack.
Some of the victims are in critical condition, including Ahmed Abdisalan who was rushed to Guriceel district for medical treatment. Officials at the Istarliin hospital in Guriceel told Somalia Report that several wounded officials were brought to the hospital and others are still arriving from Dhusamareeb.
“I slam this barbaric attack which killed two Somali lawmakers and I have to place the blame on al-Shabaab because I was told that they claimed responsibility for the attack," said Somali Prime Minister Abdiwali Mohamed Ali who spoke to VOA Somali Service.
Al-Shabaab, a hardline Islamic militant group battling for control of Somalia, has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but initial information posted on pro-al-Shabaab websites indicate that Islamist officials are monitoring the casualties figure and will release a statement soon.
Dhusamareeb is under control of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ), a pro-Somali government militia that is fighting against the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group.
“It was a big surprise that an al-Shabaab fighter could dare to use explosives to blow himself up here in Dhusamareeb. We are still investigating this,” said senior ASWJ official who declined to be named.
The TFG spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman spoke to the media and expressed the TFG's disappointment regarding the incident.
"MP's Yusuf Mire Serar and Abdiweli Aw Mohamed died in the explosion. Ahmed Abdisalan, a former Deputy Prime Minister was injured," he said.
According to ASWJ officials, at least two planes landed at Guriceel airport on Wednesday morning with five of the wounded victims transferred to Addis Ababa for treatment.