Somalia: Deadly Explosion Kills 15 in Mogadishu, 17 Injured

Civilians carry the dead body of a man killed in a car bomb explosion near a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, March 28, 2019

Civilians carry the dead body of a man killed in a car bomb explosion near a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, March 28, 2019

At least 15 people have killed in a car bomb explosion near a hotel and restaurants in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, according to rescue services.

The blast on Thursday afternoon in the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road sent a huge cloud of smoke into the sky, causing destruction in nearby buildings and parked cars.

"So far 15 people died including five women. Seventeen others were injured in the blast," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin Ambulance service, told Reuters news agency..

Mogadishu is regularly targeted by al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliated group that have has been fighting to topple the country's government.

In 2011, al-Shabab fighters fled fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu, and have since lost many of their strongholds.

But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.

On Saturday, 15 people were killed in two explosions and a gun battle between al-Shabab fighters and security personnel in central Mogadishu

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