News24

Car bomb explodes in Somali capital

2012-03-21 10:00

Mogadishu - A car bomb exploded in the heart of the Somali capital's administrative district on Wednesday, triggering bursts of gunfire from security forces, witnesses said.

The blast happened on Mogadishu's Maka al Mukarram road that links the busy 4km road intersection with the presidential palace.

"A car bomb has just exploded in Maka al Mukarram road. Then the police opened fire," resident Hussein Omar told Reuters.

Other residents said the car had been parked on the street, arousing the suspicions of the police.

A Reuters witness who saw the wreckage of the car said one family had fled their house just metres away moments before the bomb detonated.

There was no immediate word on casualties, nor claim of responsibility. However, suspicion is likely to fall on Islamist militants battling to topple the embattled UN-backed government.

There has been a surge in suicide bombings and remotely detonated blasts in Mogadishu since al-Shabaab pulled most of its fighters out of the coastal city, vowing to turn increasingly to al-Qaeda-inspired tactics.