Death toll in Mogadishu blasts rises to 17

Somali police say at least 17 people have been killed in attacks near the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu that have been claimed by the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab.

At least 25 others were wounded in the bombings on Saturday morning, police officer Ahmed Bashane said.

Seven police officers, a prominent Somali journalist, and many civilians were among the dead, he said.

An explosives-laden vehicle blew up at a military checkpoint near the palace and the National Theatre around 9:30 am (0630 GMT), damaging nearby buildings and sending thick black smoke billowing into the sky.

The suicide attacker detonated his explosives as security forces conducted a search of the vehicle, officer Ali Hassan Kulmiye said. The loud boom could be heard across the city on what is a normal business day in Somalia.



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