Mogadishu - Five suicide bomb attacks, including one on an Ethiopian embassy and one on a United Nations compound, rocked Somalia Wednesday, witnesses and the UN said.
Witness Farhaan Omaye told Deutsche Presse Agentur dpa that three near-simultaneous bombs went off in in Hargeysa, in the breakaway northern state of Somaliland.
The Ethiopian embassy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) compound were targeted, as was Somaliland's presidential palace.
"The United Nations confirms that at approximately at 10am this morning the UNDP compound ... was hit by an explosion, caused by a vehicle which forced entry into the compound," the office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said in a statement.
"There are known casualties as well as deaths, but the numbers are currently being verified," the statement said. "Medical evacuation of the injured is ongoing."
Two other bombs exploded in the semi-autonomous state of Puntland at the offices of the Puntland Intelligence Service in the port town of Bosasso, witness Mohamed Ali told dpa.
Dozens of injured were reported at the other bomb sites, but there was no clear picture of the numbers of wounded and dead.
Puntland and Somaliland are normally relatively peaceful compared to Central and Southern Somalia, where a bloody insurgency is raging.
However, Puntland is home to thousands of pirates who seize ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden.
Insurgents have been fighting Somalia's transitional federal government since Ethiopian troops helped oust the Union of Islamic Courts in early 2007.
A ceasefire, due to come into force on November 5, was agreed on Sunday night. The ceasefire was part of a deal agreed in in June.
However, main insurgent group al-Shabaab has rejected the deal and vowed to keep fighting until Ethiopian forces leave Somalia.
The bomb attacks came as officials from the Somali government were meeting regional heads of states for talks in Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya.
Aid agencies say almost 10,000 civilians have died and almost one million have fled, especially from the capital city Mogadishu, during the insurgency.
The Horn of Africa nation has been plagued by chaos and civil war since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. (dpa)
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