People around the Somali parliament compound near the presidential palace have suffered several losses on Saturday morning as a car bomb exploded in Mogadishu.
Scores of lives have been lost to the early morning blast but the police is yet to confirm the length of casualties recorded at the crime scene. Heavy gunfire was also heard following the morning rush-hour blast
The Police Mogadishu confirmed this incident as police officer, Abdullahi Aden, explained that the bomb went off near the heavily fortified green zone in the capital of the Horn of Africa nation at about 9 a.m. local time.
Cause of explosion has been discovered to be a car filled with explosives that ran through a security checkpoint in front of the Wehliye Hotel, which is known to often house top government officials, lawmakers and other socialites in the city. Aden noted that the police fired shots at the vehicle that later detonated at the security checkpoint to the national assembly headquarters.
Recently, the Somali capital has recorded several bomb blasts with this being 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 that attack through a statement broadcast by Andalus Radio, its mouthpiece channel but CNN has been unable to independently verify this claim.
The insurgent group seeks to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state. It has previously claimed responsibility for other attacks in Mogadishu, including a truck bombing in December which killed 85.
Al-Shabaab continues to conduct attacks both within Somalia and in neighboring Kenya, including a January 15, 2019, attack on an upscale Nairobi hotel complex in which at least twenty-one civilians were killed and hundreds held hostage. The militants also continue to target the Somali state and African Union Mission in Somalia forces.
The terrorist group reached its peak in 2011 when it controlled parts of the capital city of Mogadishu and the vital port of Kismayo. Kenyan troops, operating as part of AMISOM, entered Somalia later that year and successfully pushed al-Shabab out of most of its strongholds.