A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck near the presidential palace in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people, in an attack claimed by al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Security forces chased the vehicle as it was driven toward the palace gate, where it exploded, causing extensive damage to the SYL Hotel and surrounding buildings, police commander Colonel Bishar Abshir Geddi said in a briefing broadcast on state radio. More than 20 people were injured in addition to the fatalities, he said.
Mogadishu is regularly targeted by the al-Shabaab Islamist group, which took responsibility for Tuesday’s attack in a statement to Radio Andalus, a broadcaster that supports its insurgency.
Somalia is preparing to hold elections over the next two months that will culminate in the appointment of a new president. Al-Shabaab, which has waged a rebellion in the Horn of Africa country since 2006, plans to disrupt the vote, according to the African Union Mission in Somalia.