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Double car blasts in Somalia kill at least 18 - UPDATED


At least 18 people were killed and 20 wounded after double car bomb blasts rocked the Somalia capital on Friday evening, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

The first car bomb exploded near the Somalia presidential palace followed by a gun battle between security forces and terrorist al-Shabaab attackers, according to state media.

 

Internal Security Minister Mohamed Abukar Islow confirmed that security forces killed five al-Shabaab attackers after an hour-long battle near the presidential palace.

 

The second blast targeted a security checkpoint near the Somali national intelligence and security agency headquarters in Mogadishu.

 

"We carried at least 18 dead people and 20 other wounded people," Abdukadir Abdirahman, the head of Mogadishu’s Amin ambulance service, told local media.

 

Islow said that the government will soon announce the death toll from the double car bombing.

 

Friday's double attack comes a day after Islow issued a warning of terrorist attacks at a Cabinet meeting.

 

According to local media, Somali-based insurgent group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the Friday evening attack.

 

Last October at least 300 people died in a previous double car bombing in Mogadishu, the deadliest attack in modern Somali history.

 

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20:40

 

A car rigged with explosives detonated in the Somalian capital minutes before the second explosion rattled the area; the blasts were followed by gunfire in the vicinity of the president's residence, according to local police, APA reports quoting sputniknews.

 

"We understand it is a suicide car bomb near the presidential palace area. Then another blast followed, with gunfire. It is too early to know details and target," Major Mohamed Ahmed, a police officer said.

 

Three people have been killed, according to Hussein.

 

The Twitter users have uploaded videos and pictures allegedly showing the plumes of thick smoke rising in the sky after the explosions.

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