Car bomb blast kills 7 in Somali capital
At least seven people were killed and 10 wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded at a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security in Mogadishu, officials said.
"There was a huge blast at a tea-shop near the security ministry, the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car bomb explosion," said Somali police official Mohammed Ibrahim.
Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu administration, said "seven civilians were killed in the blast and more than 10 others wounded."
Witnesses said the area was swarmed by ambulances.
"The blast was huge and I saw ambulances rushing but the area was cordoned off by the police", said witness Abdisalam Sharif.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but bombings are commonly carried out by Somalia's Shabaab extremists who have threatened a "vicious war" against the country's new government.
The Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-aligned militant group, was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.
A particularly deadly strike on a busy market left 39 people dead in February, while a twin car bomb attack on a popular Mogadishu hotel left 28 dead in January.