At least eight people have been killed in a car explosion in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
“A car bomb targeted a convoy, including bulletproof cars using Avisione street, we do not know who owns the convoy,” the head of the city’s ambulance service, Abdikadir Abdirahman, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
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“We carried eight dead people from the scene.”
The Somali National News Agency reported “unspecified casualties”.
Mogadishu resident Mohamed Osman said the shock of the blast hit the walls and roof of a mosque he was praying in nearby.
“When I came out of the mosque, I saw several old houses collapsed, body parts on the street, hands, legs,” Osman told Reuters.
“Destroyed cars, burnt Tuk tuks (rickshaws); all this mess and loss of lives in a minute, I survived.”
The attack was claimed by al-Shabab – an al-Qaeda-linked armed group fighting to overthrow the country’s UN-backed government.
In a brief statement the group said it was targeting “foreign officers”.
Witnesses told AFP news agency a multi-vehicle private security convoy escorting foreigners was passing by the area when the explosion hit.
“I saw some of the passengers injured and being carried after the blast,” said one witness Osman Hassan.