Authorities suspect Islamist al Shabaab militants of carrying out the bombing in the northeastern city, Mohamed Abdi, a police officer at the scene said.
“A blast hit the bus carrying workers to the U.N. office … At least nine people died,” he told Reuters. Six bystanders were wounded, he added.
Images posted on social media show a blood-spattered white minivan, its windows shattered and the vehicle roof blown off by the blast.
Nicholas Kay, the U.N. Special Representative for Somalia, condemned the attack , saying on his Twitter feed he was “shocked and appalled by loss of life”.
Al Shabaab has staged several attacks against U.N. officials in Somalia in recent years, most often in the capital Mogadishu, where the U.N has been helping a Western-backed government rebuild the country after more than 20 years of war. -Reuters