A speeding car has exploded in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu after coming under fire near the president’s residence, police say.
“The police suspected the speeding car, fired at it and so it exploded outside the hotels near the presidential palace,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, said Saturday.
It was not immediately clear what the vehicle contained.
In past incidents, the Takfiri al-Shabab terrorist group, which has long sought to topple Somalia’s Western-backed federal government, has used car bombs to target government buildings in the capital.
The al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011, but still controls large parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in Mogadishu and regional towns.
Last week, nearly 10 people were killed and over a dozen wounded as powerful explosions rocked the heart of the Somali capital.
The first explosion occurred at a security checkpoint outside the headquarters of Somalia’s Ministry of Interior on July 7. The second blast was reported opposite a police building and smoke was seen emanating from many burning vehicles at the scene, a police source said.
Back in October last year, more than 500 people lost their lives in twin bomb blasts in Mogadishu. The bomb attacks were the deadliest since al-Shabab began its militancy in 2007.