MOGADISHU, At least eight people were killed as a huge blast went off on a road near the main international airport in the Somali capital.
The Islamist terror group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying it was targeting “foreign officers.”
The al-Qaeda-linked group controls parts of Somalia often carries out bombings at high-profile locations in the capital.
The Somali National News Agency reported “unspecified casualties.” But an official said that at least eight people were killed.
“A car bomb targeted a convoy, including bullet proof cars using Avisione street, we do not who owns the convoy. We carried eight dead people from the scene,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of an ambulance service, said.
According to witnesses, a multi-vehicle private security convoy escorting foreigners was passing by the area when the blast hit.
Somali security official Mohamed Abdi said that the bombing “caused devastation in the area.”
A witness also said that the explosion was “so huge that it has destroyed most of the buildings nearby the road and vehicles passing by the area.”
Wednesday’s explosion came just days after Somali leaders agreed on a new timetable for long-delayed elections.
The Horn of Africa nation had been locked in a political crisis amid a feud between the prime minister and president.
Somalia is also battling an insurgency by al-Shabaab.
The extremist group has been fighting government forces since 2007. It had controlled Mogadishu until it was pushed out by African Union forces in 2011.
Al-Shabaab has often carried out attacks against military and civilian targets.
In November, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bombing near a school in Mogadishu. The attack killed at least eight people.
The November attack came days after the group said it killed a prominent journalist.
Source: Nam News Network