8 Feb 2012 01:27 PM EST
-by Alex Mangini, Staff Writer; Image: Map of Somalia (Image Source: Nova Online)
According to local police, a suicide car bomber has killed at least nine people near a hotel frequented by government lawmakers in Mogadishu, Reuters News Agency reports.
Police officer Hassan Ali spoke with Reuters about the destruction in the Somali capital city.
"So far we have carried nine dead civilians and 34 others injured. Up to now we have not seen casualties of any legislators. The death toll may rise," he explained.
The vehicle initially was driven into a cafe adjacent to the Hotel Muna, often a hot bed for legislative activity, making it somewhat of a vulnerable target for insurgent attacks.
Police and the spokesman for African Union troops in Somalia said "initial reports showed that the attacker first opened fire on people sitting near the hotel before detonating the car.”