At least four people were killed, including a senior government official, and 10 wounded when a car bomb exploded close to a checkpoint near Somalia’s parliament in the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, police said.
A plume of thick black smoke was seen over the city and witnesses said a number of vehicles were on fire.
Islamist group Al-Shabaab claimed the attack, after a rise in activity in recent days by the Al-Qaeda linked group which has seen it inflict mass casualties in Somalia and attack a US military base in Kenya.
“Explosives were packed in a vehicle which the security forces think was trying to pass through the checkpoint, but because he could not do that, the suicide bomber detonated it,” said police officer Adan Abdullahi.
“Initial reports we have received indicate four people were killed and more than 10 others were wounded in the blast.”
Bile Ismail, the manager of finances at the ministry for women and human rights, was among those killed, relatives and colleagues told AFP.
“We have indeed lost a brother and good friend in the blast this morning,” Abdiqani Omar, the ministry’s former director general, told AFP.
“He was sitting in the car waiting in line at the checkpoint when the blast occurred and his body (was) badly burned inside the car,” he added.
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