Car Bomb Kills Least 7 in Mogadishu

Officials said a truck bomb exploded Saturday in a busy intersection of Mogadishu, Somalia, killing and injuring dozens and destroying nearby buildings. 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 worldwide community and by the 22,000-strong african Union (Amisom).

"We know that at least 20 civilians are dead while dozens of others are wounded", said Abdullahi Nur, a police officer. The explosion happened in a busy area of Mogadishu.

A BBC Somali reporter in the area said the hotel, which authorities believe was the target, collapsed after the explosion. Witnesses said the blast occurred amid a traffic jam. Windows were shattered for blocks around the epicenter of the carnage.

The explosion was followed by gunfire between security forces and armed men around and inside the popular Safari Hotel.

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Burning, overturned cars lined the street.

The blast occurred two days after the head of the U.S. Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president, and two days after the country's defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons. About two hours after the truck bomb went off, a second blast rocked the city's Madina district.

"It was a auto bomb".

There has been no claim of responsibility but the al-Shaba extremist group often targets high-profile locations in the capital. The US forces have stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabab.

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