Saturday, December 19, 2015, Poush 5, 1422 BS, Rabiul Awal 6, 1437 Hijri

'Several killed' in Somali blast in Mogadishu street
Observer Online Desk
Published :Saturday, 19 December, 2015,  Time : 10:23 PM  View Count : 3
Several people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu, reports say.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC they saw a cloud of smoke rising at the scene and many wounded. Reuters news agency said at least three people had died.

The attack began with a shooting, followed by the detonation of a car bomb when police arrived, a police official told the AFP news agency.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.

"There was a drive-by shooting attack... then a car loaded with explosives was detonated after police reinforcements arrived," police official Ahmed Abdiweli told AFP.

"Most of the casualties are civilians," he added.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The attack took place on a busy shopping street in central Mogadishu

Witnesses said the gunmen opened fire on a Somali government official's car, sparking a gun battle with his security escort.

"The gunmen riding in a car attacked the official and there was exchange of gunfire... then there was a huge blast," said Abdi Mudey, who was near the scene, told AFP.

Witnesses described seeing part of a supermarket and several cars destroyed by the blast.

Husayn Ali Wehliye, a regional governor, was among the wounded but escaped with minor injuries, local media reported.

The Islamist militant group al-Shabab has carried out several attacks on the road in the past few weeks.

The group said it was behind the attack on a hotel in central Mogadishu last month in which 15 people died.

Al-Shabab ruled much of Somalia until 2011, when it was driven out of Mogadishu by African and Somali troops.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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