MOGADISHU - A bomb exploded outside the headquarters of Somalia’s biggest bank on Tuesday, wounding at least two people hours after al-Qaeda-linked militants ordered the company cease operations in areas under their control.
The blast outside Dahabshiil’s office in Mogadishu shattered its doors and littered the area with debris, police said.
“A remote-controlled bomb planted in front of Mogadishu's Dahabshiil bank and money transfer headquarters injured two guards,” Police Captain Nur Hassan told Reuters.
Earlier, members of Islamist group al Shabaab walked into Dahabshiil branches in areas of Somalia under their control and demanded they close, accusing the company of working for aid agencies they have banned in their territories, according to a statement on the movement's website.
Money transfer firms like Dahabshiil are vital to the Horn of Africa country’s fractured economy, which lacks a developed banking sector after 20 years of civil conflict.
Security in the coastal capital Mogadishu has improved greatly since al-Shabaab fled the city after a military offensive in August 2011. But bombings and assassinations - blamed on militants - are still frequent.
Police said they had yet to identify who was behind the blast, but that a mobile phone attached to the device was used to detonate it. It was the first such attack to target a bank.