Bombings in Somalia’s capital wound 13

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – At least 13 people were wounded on Saturday in a suicide car bombing near Somalia’s presidential palace and another blast outside a police station close by in the capital, the emergency services said.

“In the first phase, we carried 13 injured people from near the two blast scenes,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of the Amin Ambulance emergency service, told Reuters on Saturday.

Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters the first blast, a suicide car bombing, occurred near the presidential palace while a second blast took place opposite the police building.

A Reuters witness saw smoke coming from burning vehicles at the scene around the blasts.

Islamist group al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in the Horn of Africa country where they are fighting to topple the central government. But they have not yet claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blasts.

The group wants to topple the Western-backed central government, expel the African Union-mandated peace keeping force AMISOM and establish a government based on their own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Somalia has been gripped by violence and lawlessness since the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990s.

Hussein said security forces opened fire after the blasts. Ambulance sirens were heard while announcements were made via loudspeaker to help clear the roads.

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