Truck bomb explodes on busy road in Somalia, killing 20

by Abel Hampton October 15, 2017, 0:26
Truck bomb explodes on busy road in Somalia, killing 20

(AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) A Somali soldier helps a civilian who was wounded in a blast in the capital of Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017.

At least 20 people have reportedly killed and more than a dozen injured, according to police.

Witnesses said the blast, which threw a thick cloud of smoke into the sky that could be seen across the city, badly damaged a nearby hotel and left scenes of devastation on the busy road.

"The truck was being chased by security forces, when the blast went off" the State media reported quoting the Somali intelligence Chief Abdullahi Mohamed Ali as saying.

Police said people were trapped in the rubble of the Safari Hotel, which was largely destroyed.

The first explosion in the city's K5 Junction area, which is lined with government offices, hotels, and restaurants, destroyed several buildings and set dozens of vehicles on fire.

Rescue workers are on the scene.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab recently stepped up attacks on army bases across south and central Somalia.

The attack has not been claimed in the immediate future, but the islamist somali shebab linked with Al-Qaeda launching frequent attacks and suicide bombings in Mogadishu and its surroundings. Windows were shattered for blocks around the epicenter of the carnage. Overturned cars burned in the street. Witnesses said the blast occurred amid a traffic jam. "It's a disaster", he said sadly.

The blast, which also wounded at least 15 people, occurred two days after the head of the U.S. Africa Command was in town to meet with Somalia's president.

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