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Five die in Somalia violence

May 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, May 8 (UPI) -- Violence during a two-day period killed at least five people in the war-torn Somali capital of Mogadishu, officials said.

Three people, including two Somali government soldiers, were killed when a landmine explosion tore through a military vehicle in Mogadishu, witnesses said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials said the fundamentalist militia al-Shabaab has staged similar attacks before, Shabelle Media Network reported.

"At dawn on Tuesday morning a remote-controlled landmine explosion ripped through a military vehicle carrying soldiers in Somalia government [at an intersection], killing three including a passerby near the blast site," a witness told Shabelle.

Unidentified gunmen shot and killed at least two people -- one a soldier -- in the Somali capital Monday night, Shabelle said.

Somali government security officials said Tuesday they arrested two men with explosives at checkpoint along the road connecting Mogadishu and the rebel-held Afgoi district.

"Today the security forces of [the] Somalia government have managed to capture and thwart two men wearing suicide belts which were planned by al-Shabaab extremists to carry out attacks in Mogadishu," a security official told Shabelle.

Al-Shabaab leaders did not comment on the government's claim.

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