Somalia: Huge car bomb blast rocks Mogadishu

Somalia
By Staff Reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A powerful explosion has hit a business area near a police checkpoint outside the country's Immigration HQ and in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday evening, Garowe Online reports.

Somali police officer, Capt. Abdi Jama confirmed to Garowe Online that at least 4 people were killed and several others hurt after a car laden with explosives was detonated at a security checkpoint near Cinema Somalia on the busy Makka Al-Mukaram street.

Witnesses said they heard a huge blast that was followed by billowing smoke near the site of the attack.

"The huge blast occurred near Cinema Somalia during a rush hour traffic and Police officers were searching the vehicles passing through the checkpoint," said Nur Kamal, an eyewitness.

The explosion has badly damaged a nearby crowded restaurant along the Makka Al-Mukara road, which is frequently used by government officials and the elite as it links the Airport to the Presidential Palace.

The authorities are yet to confirm the number of casualties. 

Early in the day, a suicide bomber has killed at least three people in Afgoye town, located some 30Km northwest of Mogadishu after ramming his explosives-filled minibus into a military convoy.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed the responsibility for both attacks that are part of its decade-long insurgency trying to oust the Western-backed Somali government.

GAROWE ONLINE