- Terror group Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for the attack
- The explosion happens near the presidential palace hours after a new Cabinet appointment
At least 15 people were injured in the bomb explosion at a busy security checkpoint in the country's capital, according to Somali federal police Maj. Ahmed Ibrahim. The blast was caused by an explosive-laden vehicle about 150 meters from the entrance of Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Ibrahim said.
The attack occurred hours after Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre appointed his new Cabinet.
The dead include a soldier who attempted to fend off the car bomb, and several women selling Khat on the roadside, said Abdifitah Omar Halane, a spokesman for the Mogadishu mayor.
Somali security forces sealed off the area, where a thick column of white smoke rose into sky. Local ambulances rushed in and carried away wounded to hospitals in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the attack through its Radio Andalus, announced 20 had been killed, though the terror group is known to exaggerate the death totals of its attacks.
Mogadishu is subject to frequent attacks as Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, seeks to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamic state.
This is the second car bomb attack the group has claimed responsibility for this month, and the fourth since the beginning of the year. On March 13, four people were killed in two attacks, while a February car bomb
left 30 dead and a January explosion