A car bomb has exploded near a marketplace in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, killing at least seven people and wounding several others.
A spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor, Abdifatah Omar Halane, said the blast took place alongside a densely-populated road near Hamarweyne market in the capital on Thursday.
“The blast was caused by a luxurious car loaded with explosives, which was detonated at a civilian, densely-populated area, and seven people were killed and several others wounded,” media outlets quoted the spokesman as saying.
Abdinasir Mohamed, a witness to the blast, gave a slightly higher death toll, saying, “There were eight people killed and most of them died in a civilian minibus which was passing by the area where the vehicle went off.”
Al-Shabab, a Takfiri militant group linked to al-Qaeda, has a history of carrying out such attacks in Somalia, which has been hit by civil war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew a dictator then turned against each other.
The militant group seeks to oust the Western-backed government in Mogadishu and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
The weak UN-backed government is now battling the ongoing insurgency, but many members of its security forces are badly trained and coordination is poor.
Al-Shabab was forced out of the capital by the African Union troops in 2011, but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.
By Africafrique and Agencies