Nine people, most of them members of Somalia’s security forces, were killed in a suspected suicide bombing in the capital Mogadishu on Tuesday, police and witnesses said.
The attack took place near a checkpoint frequented by the security forces, police officer Mohamed Ali said.
“There are still investigations going on but with all indications so far, a suicide bomber caused the blast,” he said, adding that six members of the security forces and three civilians were killed and 11 other people wounded.
The bombing was claimed the by the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab Islamist group, which has been fighting to topple Somalia’s federal government since 2007 and has carried out waves of attacks.
“I have passed by the area a few minutes after the blast, the whole area was in a mess with abandoned shoes belonging to the victims,” said witness Kudow Yusuf.
Another witness, Adan Hussein, said he had seen several bodies, some of them in uniform, carried into ambulances.
Last month, the extremists claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in a cafe in Mogadishu that killed two people and wounded five.
The jihadist group controlled the capital until 2011 when it was pushed out by African Union troops, but it still holds territory in the countryside and launches frequent attacks against government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.