Somalia blast kills at least 6 near presidential palace

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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Police in Somalia say a suicide car bombing near the presidential palace has killed at least six people and wounded several others.

Col. Ahmed Mohamud says those killed in the Saturday morning blast include soldiers and civilians.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein says the bomber targeted a military checkpoint near the rear entrance of the heavily fortified palace.

Police say lawmakers and other officials had been traveling nearby on what is a business day in the Horn of Africa nation.

A second blast was heard shortly afterward nearby in Mogadishu as a plume of smoke rose over the capital.

There is no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group often targets the capital.