At least nine people were killed and 14 others injured on Monday evening after a car bomb exploded at the gate of Somalia’s presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu, police have said.
Mogadishu police officer Ahmed Shire told Xinhua that the explosion was huge and nine people, which include two Somali soldiers, four civilians and three foreigners, were killed.
“The blast was powerful and happened near the presidential palace. The people who were getting out of the nearby hotel also died. Three foreigners were also killed in the attack,” he said.
The presidential palace, or Villa Somalia, is the seat of government. Several senior government officials, including the president, live and work there.
Sources told Xinhua that the explosion happened after a conference debating the nature of the Horn of Africa nation’s election in 2016 had just ended in the compound. However, most delegates are thought to have left the palace and a few who remained could be the casualties.
“We heard huge explosion at presidential place. We do not know more details,” Mogadishu resident Jama Ibrahim told Xinhua.
Sources told Xinhua that the terror group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility of the latest attack.