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Originally published Monday, March 18, 2013 at 2:52 AM

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Car bomb explodes near bus in Somali capital

An explosives-laden car that apparently was targeting a truck full of Somali government officials instead hit a civilian car and exploded, setting a nearby mini-bus on fire and wounding people on the street and in a nearby restaurant Monday, a police officer and witnesses said.

Associated Press

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MOGADISHU, Somalia —

An explosives-laden car that apparently was targeting a truck full of Somali government officials instead hit a civilian car and exploded, setting a nearby mini-bus on fire and wounding people on the street and in a nearby restaurant Monday, a police officer and witnesses said.

Flames and smoke rose over the explosion as emergency vehicles drove to the scene. The blast happened close to the Somali government's headquarters.

Mohamed Abdi, a police officer who was injured in the blast, said it appeared that the target of the attack was a truck of Somali intelligence officials.

Isaaq Hassan, who was washing cars near the blast, said he saw about a half dozen bodies lying in the street afterward.

No official was immediately available to provide casualty figures.

A journalist who was wounded in the blast while sitting in a nearby restaurant said several people inside the restaurant were injured.

The militant group al-Shabab has continued to carry out terror attacks in Somalia's capital since being pushed out of Mogadishu in late 2011. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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