Police said a car bomb near Somalia’s presidential palace killed eight people.
A vehicle bomb exploded outside Somalia’s presidential palace on Saturday, killing eight people, according to authorities, with the Al-Shabaab militant group claiming responsibility.
“We have confirmed that eight individuals, the most of them were civilians, killed and seven others were injured in the car bomb blast,” Mucawiye Ahmed Mudey, the district police chief, told reporters.
The bombing occurred late in the morning, within a kilometer of the presidential residence, Villa Somalia.
Witnesses say the car bomb went off after the driver was detained by cops for a security check. Other vehicles were engulfed in flames, trapping their passengers.
“They usually come to a halt to inspect and clear vehicles before passing through the checkpoint. The security guards stopped this car, and it drove away while numerous other cars and pedestrians passed by on the adjoining road. Witness Mohamed Hassan claimed, “I saw wounded and dead people being taken.”
Hibaq Abukar, the prime minister’s counsellor for women and human rights, was among the dead, according to officials.
Prime Minister Mohamed Roble condemned the attack and paid respect to Abukar, whom he described as a “young, hardworking, energetic girl with honesty” and a “devoted citizen.”
“We must unite in the fight against the savage terrorists who kill our people on a regular basis,” Roble stated.
In a brief statement, the extreme Islamist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the bombing on Saturday.
“The Mujahedeen carried out a martyrdom operation against the presidential palace’s main security checkpoint. When the raid happened, there were commanders and officials from the apostates who stayed in the area.”
The group held the capital until 2011, when it was forced out by African Union soldiers, but it still controls territory in the countryside and strikes government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere on a regular basis.