Car bomb near presidential palace kills five in Somali capital

Muqdisho-(P-TODAY)-At least five people were killed on Tuesday when a car bomb exploded at a checkpoint less than a kilometer away from the presidential compound in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, police said.

Security officials at the scene told Reuters the checkpoint was rammed by a car bomb driven by a suicide attacker, causing a blast outside a theater.

“At least four people, including government soldiers and civilians, died in the blast. Several others were injured,” said Mohamed Hussein, a police officer.

“Casualty numbers may rise. There were pedestrians along the street at the time of the explosion,” he told Reuters.

The theater is about 300 meters away from the heavily fortified compound known as Villa Somalia, which also houses other government agencies.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the explosion. In the past, al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab has taken responsibility for blasts and gun attacks in the capital.

Al Shabaab has been able to carry out deadly bombings despite losing most of its territory to African Union peacekeepers supporting the Somali government.

PUNTLANDTODAY