Suicide blast kills at least 29 in Somalia

Shabaab militants have reportedly claimed the responsibility of the attack

Suicide blast kills at least 29 in Somalia

At least 29 people have died in Somlia after a suicide truck bomb hit the entrance of the country’s biggest port on Sunday, police said.

The attack took place at Mogadishu Port in Somlaia and the Islamist al Shabaab militants have claimed the responsibility, Reuters reported.

"At least 29 civilians died and 50 others have been injured in the blast. We believe it was a suicide truck bomb," police officer Colonel Abdikadir Farah was quoted by the news agency as saying.

Al Shabaab's spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, reportedly said the blast was aimed at police officers adjacent to to the port.

"We killed 30 security forces and injured 50. We targeted them because they had been trained to provide security at so-called elections,’ Musab was quoted as saying.

Moreover, the fighters said the attack was part of an effort to disrupt protracted parliamentary elections. The three-month vote is due to end on 29 December.

Reports said most of the victims are port workers and police officers, and human limbs and bloodied shoes were scattered across the blast scene in the port.

“We assisted 48 wounded people and carried 16 others who were killed in the blast,” said Abdikadir Abdirahman Adem, director of Mogadishu's AMIN ambulance service told AFP.

A senior police officer said the bomber targeted a civilian area, there were porters and other small scale traders in the area when the blast occurred.

Over 22,000 peacekeepers are deployed in the African country in the multi-national African Union force, but Al-Shabab opposes the presence of the foreign troops in Somalia.

In the recent past, the militants group has launched deadly guerrilla attacks against the Somali government and African Union forces across large parts of Somalia.

Somalia is in the process of electing a new government and representatives of Somalia's federal states have been chosen to pick the 275 lawmakers, who will choose a new president. But the latest attack expected to delay the election process further.  The elections have already been delayed three times.