A powerful car bomb exploded at a shopping mall in the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing at least nine people, security officials said. Police officer Ahmed Moalin Ali said nine people were also injured in Monday’s blast in an explosives-laden car parked near a mall close to Mogadishu’s local government offices.
“The blast occurred close to Mogadishu mall and it has caused death and destruction. Nine civilians were confirmed dead and several others are wounded,” said Ali. “The terrorists parked a vehicle loaded with explosives in the vicinity of the mall to kill the innocent civilians.”
He said some of the victims died in a building that collapsed as a result of the blast in the Hamar-Weyne market. “I saw the dead bodies of four people recovered from the debris of a collapsed building and three others were strewn dead outside after the blast had blown them,” said shopper Munira Abdulkadir.
“I was not far away from the blast location, but I was lucky to have survived, several people were wounded and some were screaming before the ambulances arrived,” said another witness, Abdullahi Mohamed.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the al-Shabab armed group has regularly carried out such attacks in the past.
The group’s stated aim is to remove the western-backed central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Sharia law.
In a separate incident, local security officials said the armed group killed the Maltese manager of Bossaso port in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland state on Monday.