Mogadishu truck bomb: Blast in Somali capital kills at least 20

More than 20 people were killed Saturday by a powerful vehicle bomb in front of a hotel in a commercial hub frequented the center of Mogadishu, Somalia, have announced the police and the emergency services. "There are casualties but we do not know the exact amount as the scene is still burning". A truck loaded with explosives went off at the entrance of a hotel, according to security sources.

The explosion appeared to target a hotel on a busy road in Hodan district.

"This was very frightful", witness Ismail Yusuf told AFP news agency.

Emergency services were overwhelmed as they sought to respond to the bombing.

The explosion was followed by gunfire between security forces and armed men around and inside the popular Safari Hotel. Usually, the shebab instead target the hotels in which resident officials and have sworn the loss of the fragile central government in somalia, supported by the global community and by the 22,000-strong african Union (Amisom).

In any case, the devastation caused was widespread.

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"The scene turned deadly very immediately" Ali Abdullahi, a witnesses said, "This is the largest explosion I ever heard".

"There were dead bodies everywhere and injured people were screaming, some of them from under the rubble of destroyed buildings", said Fadumo Dahir, a witness.

The militants are fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country.

The recent attacks have taken place in the capital and nearby areas.

Saturday's blast comes two days after Somalia's defence minister and army chief both resigned from their posts without explanation.


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