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Five killed in Somalia car bomb: Medics

AFP  |  Mogadishu 

At least five people were killed and 25 were wounded on Thursday when a car bomb exploded close to a major hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, medics said.

"Our teams have collected five dead bodies and 25 wounded people," Abdukadir Abdirahman, director of the Aamin Ambulance service, told AFP.

He warned that the tally could rise.

"This is not the final toll," Abdirahman said.

"The teams are still working."

It was not immediatly clear if the car, which had been laden with explosives, was blown up by a suicide bomber. There was also heavy gunfire after the blast.

"There was a huge car bomb blast along the Maka Al-Mukarama road," said police officer Mohamed Farah.

"It destroyed many businesses and vehicles."

Witnesses described how the blast ripped through one of the busiest streets in the seaside capital.

At the time of the attack in the early evening, the street was filled with people relaxing after a day at work.

"The whole area was on flames, and I could see the ambulances rushing to the scene," said Abdisamed Mohamed, a witness.

"There was gunfire too, but we don't know who was shooting."

A second blast was heard in the area a few minutes later, but it was unclear what caused that explosion.

There was no immediate claims of who carried out the attack.

Mogadishu is regularly targeted by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab insurgents.

Shabaab fighters fled their fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since lost many of their strongholds.

But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 01 2019. 01:35 IST