Al-Shabaab claim responsibility of Mogadishu bombing

So far, eight people have died.

Civilians and Somalian security officers gather at the scene of a suicide car bomb at a street junction near the president's residence, in Mogadishu, Somalia, September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

A suicide car bomb attack killed at least eight people in the Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia on Saturday. The Islamist group Al-Shaabab claimed responsibility for the attack that took place close to the presidential palace.

"We have confirmed that eight people most of them civilians died and seven others wounded in the car bomb blast", district police chief Mucawiye Ahmed Mudey told reporters.

The driver of the vehicle detonated the explosives when police stopped him at a checkpoint, witnesses said. The explosion was less than a kilometer away from the Villa Somalia palace.

"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," witness Mohamed Hassan told news agency AFP.

Somalia's fragile political situation

The Al-Qaida-affiliated Al-Shabaab terror group ruled Mogadishu until 2011 when African Union troops expelled them from the city.

They have remained in control of territory in the surrounding countryside ever since, from where they have launched frequent attacks against government and civilian targets.

Saturday's attack came during a moment of tension between the country's president, Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed Farmaajo, and his prime minister, Mohammed Hussein Roble. The discord has threatened to delay parliamentary elections that had been set for October 10.

Somalia has been in a state of ongoing conflict since the fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. His departure left the country without a functioning government, leading to a power vacuum that was filled by warlords and militias such as Al-Shabaab.

Also, the attack comes hours after the African Union Mission Forces signed an agreement with the Somalia National Army for joint operations. The AMISOM troops have been working hard to restore order and sanity in Somalia.

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