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Powerful blasts leave casualties in Somali capital

(News Desk) – Powerful explosions have rocked the heart of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, with the emergency services saying at least 13 people had been wounded.

The first explosion occurred at a security checkpoint outside the headquarters of the Somalia’s Minsitry of Interior on Saturday morning.

“A car bomb exploded … it is too early to know (the) casualty,” Major Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters moments after blast.

The blast, which was heard across Mogadishu, sent a plume of thick smoke into the sky as ambulances arrived in the area of the attack to transfer the possible casualties to a nearby hospital, according to witnesses.

The second blast was reported opposite a police building and smoke was seen emanating from many burning vehicles at the scene, a police source said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility; however, such the attacks bear the hallmarks of the Takfiri al-Shabab terrorist group, which has long sought to topple Somalia’s Western-backed federal government.

The al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011, but still controls large parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in Mogadishu and regional towns.

Back in October last year, more than 500 people lost their lives in twin bomb blasts in Mogadishu. The bomb attacks were the deadliest since al-Shabab began its militancy in early 2007.

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