Cross-Dressed Suicide Bomber Kills 15 in Somalia
Three gov't ministers, 3 journalists among the dead
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 3, 2009 8:46 AM CST
Reuters photographer Omar Faruk lies on the stretcher after he was wounded in the explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009.    (Mohamed Sheikh Nor)
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(Newser) – A male suicide bomber dressed as a woman attacked a university graduation ceremony today in Somalia, killing at least 15 people—including three Cabinet ministers and three journalists.The attack raised new questions about the ability of Somalia's weak government to control even the small area of the capital it holds. It was only the second class to graduate from the medical school in nearly two decades, which is why so many high-ranking government officials were on hand.

"What happened today is a national disaster," said Somalia's information minister, confirming that the ministers for education, higher education, and health were killed in the blast. The ministers for sports and tourism were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell upon the militant group al-Shabaab, which has ties to al-Qaeda, controls much of the country, and has carried out past suicide attacks.