MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Four people were killed when a car laden with explosives blew up near the parliamentary building in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a police official said Saturday.
The Somali terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombing. Capt. Mohammed Hussein said the car exploded at a checkpoint where it had been stopped by Somali troops. The dead were soldiers and refugees from an internal refugee camp near the check point, Hussien said.
The targeting of members of parliament appears to be a new strategy for al-Shabab. The parliament is seen as an emerging pillar of democracy in the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation.
The terror group has launched attacks on neighboring countries including Kenyan and Uganda which have sent troops to Somalia under the banner of the African Union.
, to bolster the country's weak U.N.-backed government from al-Shabab's insurgency.
Last month al-Shabab claimed responsibility for attack at the Kenyan coast that left 65 people dead.
Last year al-Shabab also killed 67 people in an attack an upscale mall in Nairobi, in the capital of neighboring Kenya which has sent troops into Somalia to battle al-Shabab.