Car bomb explodes near Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu
According to police officer Abdullahi Adan, the bomb dropped near the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Horn of Africa nation’s capital at 9 am local time.
A car full of explosives shot through a security checkpoint in front of the Wahliye Hotel, popular with government officials, lawmakers and the city’s elite, and exploded at the security outpost of the National Assembly headquarters after being fired by police officers, Aiden said.
Several people were killed in the blast, although police have not announced the exact casualties. Heavy shelling was also heard after the morning rush-hour blast.
This was the second major explosion in the Somali capital in recent weeks.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through a statement broadcast by his mouthpiece channel Andalus Radio. CNN has been unable to independently verify this claim.
The rebel group wants to transform Somalia into a radical Islamic state. It has previously claimed responsibility for other attacks in Mogadishu, including a truck bombing in December that killed 85.