Somalia: Huge blast rocks downtown Mogadishu

Monday May 8, 2017

Mogadishu, Somalia – A car-bomb blast hit the heart of Somalia’s capital on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others, police said.

Mostaf Abdi Abshir, a journalist with Radio Shabelle, told Al Jazeera the vehicle laden with explosives detonated near a coffee shop opposite of the immigration directorate.

“I heard a huge explosion on Maka al-Mukarama street and saw at least seven injured people,” Abshir said.

Police officer Hussein Nor Mohamed told Al Jazeera the death toll currently was two but that could rise. “We are tallying the victims,” he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the armed group al-Shabab often carries out such attacks in Mogadishu.

Al-Shabab was forced out of the capital and other major urban areas in Somalia by national and African Union multinational forces, but it continues to carry out deadly bombings and attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

Targets have included hotels, military checkpoints, and the presidential palace.