A suicide car bomb killed at least eight people in the Somali capital on Saturday at a street junction near the president’s palace, police said, and al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said it was behind the attack which targeted a convoy going into the palace.
Police spokesperson Abdifatah Aden Hassan told reporters at the scene of the blast the casualties could be higher, since some of the dead and wounded had been taken away by their relatives.
“Al Shabaab is behind the blast. They killed eight people including a soldier and a mother and two children. Al Shabaab massacres civilians,” he said.
Al Shabaab, which wants to overthrow the government and impose its interpretation of Islamic law and frequently carries out such bombings, confirmed the group was behind the attack.
“A Mujahid driving a suicide car bomb targeted a convoy of cars going into the (presidential) palace,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab military operation spokesperson, said.
A Reuters witness at the scene of the attack reported seeing seven cars and three rickshaws destroyed by the blast, and the whole junction covered in blood.