Somalia: several killed in Mogadishu truck bomb

Somalia: several killed in Mogadishu truck bomb

The blast near Zobe, a busy road intersection, may have been a suicide bomber, a police official told VOA.

At least 20 people are dead and 15 injured following a powerful explosion from a truck bomb on a busy road in the Somali capital.

"The truck was being chased by security forces, when the blast went off" the State media reported quoting the Somali intelligence Chief Abdullahi Mohamed Ali as saying. The explosion reportedly happened near the entrance of the hotel.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's blast, the Shabab has often targeted high-profile areas of Mogadishu with deadly bombings.

The attacks follows after political impasse between the Federal government of Somalia and its member states, in what many believe could have been foreign interest based political interference. "I saw several dead bodies strewn about but could not count them", said witness Ismail Yusuf.

Gunshots could be heard near the hotel in Mogadishu's Hodan district that appeared to be the main target of the initial detonation.

Emergency services and ambulances arrived at the scene.

"The whole area looks like a scene from a war", said Ahmed Bare, another witness.

Later on Saturday, a second blast took place in the city's Madina district.

They frequently launch gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government, though in recent years the militants have lost most territory under their control to African Union peacekeepers and government troops.

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