Security forces and rescue workers search for bodies at the scene of a blast in Mogadishu, Somalia Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021. Witnesses say a large explosion has occurred in a busy part of Somalia's capital during the morning rush hour. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
CNN  — 

At least eight civilians were killed and 17 others injured, including 13 school children, after a suicide car bomb exploded in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu Thursday morning, according to state media.

The blast occurred in Mogadishu’s Hodan district, near two schools and the residence of former president Abdikasim Salat Hassan, according to the Somali National News Agency (SNNA).

Police say the target was an armored vehicle guarding the United Nations, according to SNNA.

The eastern African Somali capital has been rattled by bomb attacks with dozens either killed or injured.

The string of bombings has been linked to notorious terror group Al-Shabaab, which has in the past claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.

In early March, more than 20 people were killed, and at least 30 injured following a deadly car explosion at the gates of the popular Luul Yemeni restaurant near the port, police told CNN at the time.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on the facility which was hit twice within a year.

The restaurant bombing had followed another car explosion near the Somalian presidential palace in Mogadishu in mid-February.

At least one person was killed and 10 wounded in that attack.

Al-Shabaab had earlier claimed responsibility for a bombing at the gate of Mogadishu’s Afrik hotel in January.

A former Somali defense minister, Mohamed Nur Galal, was killed in the explosion at the hotel, which is often visited by the country’s senior officials, police said.

The Al-Shabaab Islamist sect was dislodged from Mogadishu in 2011 by local forces with help from the Africa Union, but the terror group has continued to unleash lethal attacks in the city.