At least six people have been killed — including five of the attackers — in two assaults Saturday near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, witnesses said.
According to those on the scene, a speeding car exploded at a security check point near Peace Garden, a public park, followed by heavy gunfire between gunmen and security forces.
Reports say the security forces engaged with the gunmen and repulsed the attack on their check point. The initial reports say six people, including a government soldier and five attackers, were killed in the attack.
Additional people are reported to have been injured in the attacks. One witness told VOA emergency vehicles were on the scene to carry out those who were harmed.
The second car bomb exploded in the vicinity of Peace Garden and SYL hotel, not far from the presidential palace.
SYL hotel is a popular hotel frequently used by government officials.
The al-Shabab group has claimed the responsibility for Saturday's attacks.
The twin explosions come a week after two similar attacks on the interior ministry compound in Mogadishu killed at least 15 people.