At least six people were killed and another 16 injured when a car bomb exploded outside a government office in Mogadishu on Monday, Somali police and rescue workers said.
Witnesses saw huge clouds of smoke above the city following a loud blast and gunfire.
“Our ambulance teams have collected the dead bodies of six people,” said Abdiqadir Abdirahman, director of the city’s Aamin Ambulance service.
He said 16 others were wounded in the blast.
Security forces said a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle laden with explosives at the compound of a local government office.
“A suicide car bomb rammed into the office of Hodan district of Mogadishu,” Major Mohamed Nur, a police officer, told the Reuters news agency.
Photos from the scene show parts of the wall of Hodan district offices destroyed by the blast.
“A speeding 4×4 car ran into the district office,” witness Hussein Osman said.
“I ran away and now I see from far the office completely destroyed. I see ambulances carrying casualties but I cannot make out how many dead or injured. I could see five people being taken by ambulance,” Osman added.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday’s attack.
Last week, a suicide car bomb carried out by al-Shabab armed group destroyed another district office of Mogadishu.
Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.
They are fighting to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and establish their own rule based on their strict interpretation of Islamic law.