Somali attack troubling for U.K.

Jan. 29, 2013 at 1:17 PM

LONDON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The British government is "deeply concerned" by a terrorist attack that targeted the offices of the prime minister in Somalia, a minister said Tuesday.

A spokesman for Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon confirmed at least one person died when a suicide bomber attacked Shirdon's office Tuesday, CNN reported. The prime minister wasn't injured in the attack and no group claimed responsibility for the assault.

"I am deeply concerned by this morning's attack on Villa Somalia and utterly condemn this terrorist action," British Foreign Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said in a statement.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week formally recognized the Somali government during a visit with Somali President Hassan Sheik. Until recently, there hasn't been a functioning central government in Somalia since the 1990s.

The Somali government has struggled to exert its full control as it fights for influence against al-Shabaab, a militant group allied with al-Qaida. The group last week claimed it executed French intelligence officer Denis Alex following a botched rescue attempt.

Simmonds said the attack on the prime minister's office shouldn't undermine international efforts to bring peace to Somalia.

"The U.K. remains firmly committed to supporting those efforts," he said.

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