A suicide car exploded Saturday at a checkpoint near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. The explosion left 8 dead and was claimed by Al-Shabaab, a Somali armed group, according to the police.
“We have confirmed that eight people, most of them civilians, died and seven others were wounded in the car bomb blast,” district police chief Mucawiye Ahmed Mudey told reporters.
A witness told Reuters that they saw seven cars and three rickshaws destroyed in the aftermath of the blast, adding that they saw the whole junction covered in blood.
Another witness said the car bomb was detonated when police stopped the driver for a security check.
“They normally stop to check and clear vehicles before they can pass by the checkpoint. This car was stopped by the security guards, and it went off while there were several other cars and people passing by the nearby road. I saw wounded and dead people being carried,” said witness Mohamed Hassan.
The Al-Shabaab armed group issued a bride statement upon claiming responsibility for the attack, in which it said, “The Mujahedeen carried (out) a martyrdom operation targeting the main security checkpoint of the presidential palace. There were commanders and officials from the apostates who stayed (in) the area when the attack occurred.”