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MOGADISHU - A large blast killed two civilians in Mogadishu, Somalia, yesterday, close to the venue for next month's planned peace conference that has already been delayed twice over security fears.
"The explosion happened as some government officials were passing, but they survived. However, two civilians were killed," Abdullahi Bariise, Somali police head of operations, said.
Yesterday's blast, the latest in a series of guerrilla-style strikes against the interim government and its Ethiopian military allies, came when an unknown attacker detonated a landmine by remote control as government vehicles passed.
Mogadishu's deputy mayor in charge of security, Abdifatah Ibrahim Omar, said two children were wounded in the explosion, which missed its intended target. It was unclear if those two were the victims later confirmed dead by police.
Omar said five suspects had been arrested.
Witness Abdullahi Yere, who was standing outside his house, said there were many government troops in the area when the explosion happened.
"I heard a loud explosion that shook the whole ground near me.
"I saw a burning car thrown high in the sky by the intensity of the explosion," Yere told journalists. - Reuters