MOGADISHU - At least 15 people are dead after a suicide car bomber posing as a milk delivery van detonated at a district headquarters in Somalia’s capital, police said Tuesday.

The death toll may rise, as some were badly hurt in the explosion at Wadajir district headquarters in Mogadishu, Capt. Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press.

Most of the dead were civilians, Hussein said. Aamin Ambulance service said it had transported 18 wounded, seven of them women. Two of the eight bodies it transported were women, it said. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its Shahada News Agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant groups.

Reuters adds: Al Shabaab frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu and other areas controlled by Somalia’s federal government. It wants to force out African Union peacekeepers, topple the Western-backed government and impose its own version of Islam.

“More than 10 persons died, 20 others were wounded. The explosion destroyed the building of Wadajir District headquarters. More than 10 cars were destroyed in the explosion,” said Abdifatah Omar Halane, a spokesman for the Mogadishu mayor. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said they were behind the attack, and its target was government officials.

“It’s a suicide car bomb on Wadajir District building in which Somali officials and their staff stay. There are government and their staff who have died at the scene. We will tell you the number of dead later,” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations.

In an attack last week, al Shabaab fighters killed at least 19 people in a car bomb and gun attack on a hotel and nearby restaurant in Mogadishu.