A suicide car bombing targeting a Mogadishu hotel by the Islamist group Al Shabaab today killed at least 25 people and destroyed buildings in the Somali capital’s busiest street, police said.
It was one of the heaviest blasts to have hit Mogadishu in recent times.
It took place in a business centre in Maka Al Mukaram street which has hotels, shops and restaurants, Police Major Mohamed Hussein reported. Cars in the street were set ablaze.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Police said they did not believe the militants were inside the hotel. Stinking gases from the blast reached several kilometres away from the scene.
Somalia has been convulsed by lawlessness and violence since 1991. Islamist group Al Shabaab is fighting to dislodge a Western-backed government protected by African Union-mandated peacekeepers.