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Deadly suicide attack targets Somali capital ahead of presidential vote

At least four people have been killed by a suicide explosion that targeted a security checkpoint near the Aden Adde International Airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

The blast happened on Wednesday as presidential candidates were heading into the heavily fortified airport area to address lawmakers ahead of Sunday’s vote for president, Somali police said.

“I saw four people dead at the scene. Two of them were government soldiers who died immediately after the attack,” said police officer Ali Hassan.

A number of wounded people were taken away in an ambulance, according to witness Hamdi Nur.

There were no details on the other casualties.

Long-delayed polls

Somalia’s Al Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, which destroyed a number of small businesses along the street.

Al Shabab opposes Somalia’s federal government and frequently stages lethal attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa nation.

In addition to Somalia, the group has also launched deadly attacks in the wider region.

Wednesday’s attack comes as the Horn of Africa country is preparing to hold long-delayed presidential polls, well over a year behind schedule due to deadly violence and a power struggle between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

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