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Car bomb kills 8 in Mogadishu

A car bomb has exploded on a road leading to the airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing at least eight people.

Mogadishu resident Mohamed Osman told Reuters that the shock of the blast, which occurred earlier on Wednesday, hit the walls and roof of a mosque he was praying in nearby.

“When I came out of the mosque, I saw several old houses collapsed, body parts on the street, hands, legs,” Mr Osman said.

“Destroyed cars, burnt Tuk tuks (rickshaws); all this mess and loss of lives in a minute, I survived,” he added.

The eye-witness said he had seen nine bodies at the scene of the attack.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the bombing.

The head of Mogadishu’s ambulance services, Abdikadir Abdirahman, put the death toll at eight.

“A car bomb targeted a convoy, including bullet proof cars using Avisione street, we do not who owns the convoy. We carried eight dead people from the scene,” Mr Abdirahman said.

In the past, al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for similar attacks.

Al Shabaab, which aims to overthrow the central government and impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law, conducts frequent gun and bomb attacks on security and government targets, as well as on civilians.

The group also carries out attacks against African Union peacekeeping troops, who have been deployed to prop up the internationally-back government in Mogadishu.

Editing by Tony Okerafor