Large explosion hits Somali capital Mogadishu

At least six people killed by bomb-laden vehicle in Mogadishu, according to police and medical services.

At least 5 killed in Mogadishu explosion
At least two civilians were killed and three others wounded in today's explosions [EPA]

A vehicle exploded near a busy hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday, killing at least six people and wounding four others, police said.

The blast happened near the entrance of Weheliye hotel on the busy Maka Almukarramah road, Captain Mohamed Hussein said. The hotel was left intact, but the explosion damaged a nearby house.

Hours before, a minibus exploded when police shot at it after it refused to stop as it approached a checkpoint in the capital, police officer Nur Osman told Reuters news agency, adding that two people were wounded.

“A policeman at a checkpoint shot at the speeding minibus. It exploded and killed the al-Shabab fighter that drove it,” he said.

Somalia’s new Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire condemned the two attacks, saying they were carried out by “bloodthirsty groups”.

No one has claimed responsibility for today’s explosions in Mogadishu. In the past al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab have claimed responsibility for gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Somalia, and tend to focus on Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.