Security officers arrive to secure the scene of an explosion in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. File photo/ Reuters
MOGADISHU: A big explosion was heard in the heart of Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday, with a plume of smoke seen above the scene of blast, a Reuters witness reported.
It was not clear who was responsible for the blast and what exactly had been detonated although extremist group Al Shabaab frequently carries out bombings in the Horn of Africa country.
“The first blast took place at the Ministry of Labour ... there are also other ministry buildings near the scene. It was a suicide car bomb followed by gunfire,” said police officer Major Mohamed Hussein.
He added that a second blast had followed the initial one.
Al Shabaab is fighting to topple Somalia's western backed central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
The group was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most of its other strongholds across the country. But it remains a formidable threat, with its fighters frequently carrying out bombings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya.
Troops from Kenya form part of the African Union- mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM that helps defend Somalia's central government.
At least 26 people, including many foreigners, were killed and 56 injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack claimed by Al Shabaab militants on a popular hotel in southern Somalia, a top regional official said on Saturday.
Five people were killed in an extremist attack on a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, police said on Wednesday, adding that the victims were three civilians and two members of the security forces.
Security officials and witnesses reported bodies strewn on the ground as plumes of smoke rose high into the air after the bomb detonated on Mogadishu's Maka Al-Mukarama road, one of the seaside capital's main thoroughfares, an area busy with businesses and travellers.
Togolese Prime Minister Komi Selom Klassou and his government tendered their resignation on Friday, the presidency said in a statement, congratulating the Cabinet for its work in office.
South Korea said on Saturday it will request North Korea to further investigate the killing of a South Korean government official who was shot by North Korean troops after being found adrift near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary while apparently trying to defect.
US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Americans might not know the winner of the November presidential election for months due to disputes over mail ballots, building on his criticism of a method that could be used by half of US voters this year.
Dubai Economy also urged everyone to report any non-compliance to the precautionary guidelines through the Dubai Consumer app available on the Apple and Google stores, by calling 600545555, or by visiting the Consumerrights.ae website.