At least nine people have been killed and 13 others wounded after a car exploded near a checkpoint in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
Former foreign minister Hussein Elabe Fahiye, who was an advisor to the current president, was among those killed in the blast. Captain Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press another 13 people were wounded and most of the casualties were soldiers.
“A car bomb blast struck at a checkpoint near Daljirka, there are some casualties including members of the security forces,” security official Abdukadir Ahmed said after the attack in the south of the city on Wednesday.
Witness Mohamed Saney he saw the bodies of three people, “among them a military woman”.
“Several vehicles were destroyed in the blast and ambulances rushed to the scene to collect wounded people.”
The bombing was claimed by the armed group al-Shabab, which said in a statement it had attacked a convoy escorting officials and legislators heading to the presidential palace.
Al-Shabab has been fighting for more than a decade to topple the government. The armed group gave up positions it once held in Mogadishu in 2011 and has since lost many of its strongholds.
But it retains control of large rural swaths of the country and continues to wage an armed rebellion against the West-backed government.