Somalia: 17 Killed in Somalia Bombing

The death toll in Monday's Mogadishu car bombing has risen to 17 while 28 others were injured, Somali medical officials confirmed.

Mohamed Yusuf, director of Medina Hospital, told Xinhua they received 17 bodies and 28 people with injuries.

Yusuf said 12 of the wounded were in critical conditions. "Our last update of the casualties is 17 dead and 28 others sustained injuries," Yusuf said, noting that other victims could have been transferred to other hospitals in the city.

Police said a vehicle packed with explosives went off on Monday morning at a security check point near KM4 junction as security officers lined up the cars in the road for checking.

A police officer who declined to be named, said a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was targeting the security check point of the main airport, Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu.

The blast within the busy check point occurred as many workers were rushing to their work stations in the restive capital, while others were travelling out of the country to attend the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia's Mecca.

Al-Shabab militant group, which has staged several attacks in the past against the Western-backed government, has claimed responsibility for the Monday blast, saying their target was the security forces at KM 4 junction.

Identities of the victims were not disclosed but sources said at least three soldiers were among those killed in the blast.

Witnesses recounted the incident to Xinhua. "It was terrified stance, people faced mayhem and ran to different directions for safety," Yusuf Jama, a car driver who witnessed the incident, told Xinhua.

The blast came barely four days after the security forces warned possible militant attacks in the town, ordering car owners not to park their cars at the roadsides. Al-Shabab, which is fighting the Western-backed government, has been driven out of major strongholds in Somalia in recent years in a joint offensive by AMISOM and local forces.

However, it still stages guerrilla-style assaults and bomb attacks attempting to drive out AU troops from Somalia and impose its harsh version of Islamic law across the Horn of Africa nation. -Xinhua

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