Four people were killed and five injured when a car loaded with explosives detonated on a busy road in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, police said on Wednesday.
“So far we can confirm four dead and five wounded. We offer our condolences to the victims,” Somalia’s deputy police chief Zakia Hussein wrote on Twitter.
Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the private Aamin Ambulance service, said his team had collected 13 wounded people and one dead body. It was not clear if these victims had been counted by police.
“The blast was very huge, and I saw smoke and shrapnel everywhere around the area, the police have cordoned off the road and ambulances were rushing to the scene to collect casualties,” said witness Mohamed Abdikarin.
The explosion occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road despite a recent increase in police checkpoints in the capital following a hike in bomb attacks by Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militants.
On March 28, a car bomb ripped through a restaurant, killing 15 people just days after Shabaab gunmen attacked a complex housing government ministries, killing 11 people including the deputy labor minister.
There have also been several smaller blasts in the capital.
Shabaab fighters have been fighting for more than a decade to topple the government. They fled fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since lost many of their strongholds.
But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.