Mogadishu blast kills 13, mostly women


A roadside explosion in Mogadishu today killed at least 13 people, most of them women who were sweeping a street, witnesses said.

Residents said a remotely detonated device exploded in Waberi district along a main road leading to the presidential palace. Nearly 50 people were wounded.

"We have now collected the pieces of nine dead women and still there are other parts scattered," witness Fardowsa Ahmed told reporters.

"A minibus full of seriously injured women was rushed to hospital and I think the death toll will be more than this. Only two women who sell tea along the road survived" she added.

Four people died in the emergency room at the main Madina hospital.

"We received 46 injured, including two men, most of them serious. The two men and two other women died in the emergency room," an official at the hospital said.

Insurgents have launched near-daily attacks on the transitional administration and its Ethiopian military allies. Somalia has not had a functioning central government since 1991.

On Friday a roadside bomb killed a Ugandan member of a small African Union peacekeeping force based in the capital.

Violence in the Horn of Africa nation has killed more than 8,000 civilians and driven 1 million more from their homes since allied Somali-Ethiopian forces kicked a hard-line Islamist group out of Mogadishu early last year.