Car blast targets Somalia presidential palace

By Al Jazeera

A car bomb has exploded near the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, police said.

Ali Hussein, a police officer, told the Reuters news agency that there were casualties, without giving more details.

“A suicide car bomb exploded outside the compound of the presidential palace. There were casualties but we are still investigating,” Hussein said.

Abdi Fatah, a witness in the area, told Al Jazeera that the blast occured in front of Villa Somalia, a building that serves as the official presidential palace and principal workplace of the president.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the armed group al-Shabab, which is trying to overthrow President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s government. But the group has repeatedly staged similar attacks on government buildings and officials.

Ahmed Aden, a resident in the area, said he had heard a loud blast followed by gunfire.

“Now we see huge smoke coming from the scene. Soldiers surrounded the area and we can only see ambulances rushing in and out,” Aden said.

Mohamed Abdullahi, another police officer, told Reuters the attack may have been aimed at palace guards who sit in the area.

Source:: Al Jazeera

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