Massive vehicle bomb blast rocks Somalia's Mogadishu

The blast near Zobe, a busy road intersection, may have been a suicide bomber, a police official told VOA.

A huge explosion from a truck bomb killed at least 20 people in Mogadishu, the police said on Saturday, and shaken residents called it the most powerful blast they have heard in years.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein, another officer at the site, said the blast occurred as security forces were trailing the truck that had raised suspicions. We have never seen such death and destruction, said Abdukadir Haji Aden, director of the main ambulance service in Mogadishu.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although the Islamist al-Shabaab group has carried out regular attacks. The explosion reportedly happened near the entrance of the hotel.

The hotel is close to Somalia's foreign ministry. "I saw several dead bodies strewn about but could not count them", said witness Ismail Yusuf. Even the echo of the devastating power of the explosion of the part of the emergency services. Usually, the shebab instead target the hotels in which resident officials and have sworn the loss of the fragile central government in somalia, supported by the global community and by the 22,000-strong african Union (Amisom).

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"The whole area looks like a scene from a war", said Ahmed Bare, another witness.

The militants are fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country.

Later on Saturday, a second blast took place in the city's Madina district.

The blast at KM4 street in Hodan district occurred two days after the head of the U.S. Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president.

  • Adam Floyd