An explosives-packed automobile detonated at a army checkpoint close to Somalia’s presidential palace, killing at the least 16 individuals and wounding greater than 20 others, police mentioned. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which frequently targets Mogadishu, claimed duty for the assault.
These killed embrace three staffers from the London-based Common TV station, together with distinguished journalist Awil Dahir Salad, mentioned police Capt. Mohamed Hussein, who gave the toll of useless and wounded.
The bomber focused the checkpoint close to the rear entrance of the closely fortified palace, Hussein mentioned. A lawmaker and a deputy mayor of Mogadishu had been amongst these wounded, he mentioned.
Troopers additionally had been among the many useless, Col. Ahmed Mohamud mentioned.
The blast and a second, smaller one close by appeared to focus on these heading to work on what was a enterprise day within the Horn of Africa nation.
A plume of smoke rose over the capital as ambulances rushed to the scene.
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“At first I noticed a automobile driving back and forth, then we tried to cease individuals strolling right here and there, after which within the blink of an eye fixed the automobile exploded, inflicting havoc,” visitors police officer Mohamed Harun informed The Related Press.
Al-Shabab, essentially the most lively Islamic extremist group in sub-Saharan Africa, was pushed out of Mogadishu years in the past however continues to manage massive components of rural southern and central Somalia.
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The U.S. army, which companions with Somali forces and a 20,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission, has drastically elevated airstrikes in opposition to al-Shabab underneath the Trump administration. At the least 47 U.S. strikes have been carried out this yr.