Two people were killed and five wounded on Tuesday, January 29 when a car packed with explosives was detonated near the ministry of petroleum in the Somali capital, a security official said.
Mohamed Abdullahi Tulah, a regional security official, said the vehicle was parked at a petrol station in front of the ministry’s offices in Mogadishu when it was detonated.
“It was hidden inside the petrol station parking where it went off, two civilians were killed and five others wounded in the blast,” he told a press conference.
A witness, Dahir Adan, said one of those killed was a woman who was selling tea close to the blast scene.
“The blast was very heavy but luckily it did not cause fire destroying the petrol station and the casualty [toll] was minimal,” he added.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency.
Smoke rises over around Bar-shabeel area near Banadir region HQ in Mogadishu after a suicide car exploded in front of petroleum station. Police forces were checking the car before it went off. Casualties feared. More to follow. #Somalia pic.twitter.com/2CB87k59JB
— Somalia Live Update (@HassanIstiila) January 29, 2019
Al-Shabaab jihadists seeking to topple the internationally-backed government regularly carry out attacks in the Somali capital.
At least 10 people were killed in three car bomb explosions in Mogadishu in November that were later claimed by Al-Shabaab.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated group was largely driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and has lost many of its strongholds. But it retains control of large rural swathes of the country and continues to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.
With reporting from AFP