At least seven people were killed and 10 wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb rammed into a restaurant near the Somali ministry of internal security and other compounds housing state institutions in Mogadishu, officials said.
“There was a huge blast at a tea-shop near the security ministry, the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car bomb explosion,” said Somali police official Mohammed Ibrahim.
Abdifatah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu administration, said “seven civilians were killed in the blast and more than 10 others wounded.”
Witnesses said the area, which also lies near the youth and sports ministry, was swarmed by ambulances.
“The blast was huge and I saw ambulances rushing but the area was cordoned off by the police”, said witness Abdisalam Sharif.
Other witnesses said the blast destroyed the cafe and damaged another one. Three cars were destroyed and blood stained the floor. Smoke billowed from the scene.
The incident occurred after the new security minister, Mahamed Abuukar Islow, took office and promised he would come up with a plan to tighten security.
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. But in the past, al-Shabaab militants, a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, have taken responsibility for blasts and gun attacks in the capital and elsewhere in Somalia.