Car bomb explodes near Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu

(CNN) — At least one person was killed and 10 wounded in a car bomb that exploded near the Somali presidential palace in Mogadishu on Saturday morning, police and hospital officials said.

“At 9:10 a.m., a terrorist car loaded with explosives … crashed into a checkpoint near the Sayidka junction. Security forces opened fire on the car as they sped to the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu,” read a police statement. Police said the suicide bomber was also killed in the blast.

“Thank God, the vigilance of the security forces has saved people from the threat of terrorism to the innocent Somali people,” the statement added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack which comes amid a political crisis in Somalia after the country’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s term expired on February 8 without timely elections.

Saturday’s incident was the second major explosion in the Somali capital in recent weeks.
Five people, as well as four attackers, were killed at the Afrik Hotel on January 31. The deadly siege left 10 other civilians injured and ended after Somali security forces battled militants for eight hours.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for this attack through a statement issued by Andalus Radio, its spokesperson channel. CNN has not been able to independently verify this claim.

The insurgent group seeks to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state. It had previously claimed responsibility for other attacks in Mogadishu, including a truck bombing in December that killed 85 people.

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