A suicide car bomb has exploded metres away from the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu but it’s unclear who is behind the blast, police say.
“A car bomb exploded … it is too early to know (the) casualty,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, said moments after Saturday’s blast. A second blast nearby occurred opposite a police building, a police source said. It was not immediately clear whether it caused any injuries.
Smoke was seen rising from many burning vehicles at the scene around the blasts. Islamist group al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in the Horn of Africa country where they are fighting to topple the Western-backed central government. But they have not yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blasts.
The group wants to expel the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM and establish a government based on their own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
Somalia has been gripped by violence and lawlessness since the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990.