A deadly car bomb explosion claimed by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants has hit near the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital, security officials and witnesses say.
An explosives-laden car went off near a restaurant near the presidential palace in the heart of Mogadishu on Thursday morning, Somali police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP.
“The blast occurred at a checkpoint close to the National Theatre, we don’t have the details but there are casualties,” a security official said.
Somali police said four people have been killed and nine others sustained injuries in the powerful blast.
The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Last week, at least 36 people, mostly civilians, were killed and over 60 wounded after a bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into the Hotel Maka al-Mukarama and nearby buildings in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab claimed that attack as well and threatened more such assaults in the future.
Somalia says it is tightening security across Mogadishu as al-Shabab warns of new attacks.
The militant outfit, which has long sought to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government, was forced out of Mogadishu with the help of African Union forces in 2011.
Al-Shabaab, however, still wields control in large parts of the countryside, and every now and then carries out deadly attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in the capital as well as regional towns.
The terrorist group has fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring governments in Kenya and Uganda.
By Africafrique and agencies