‘Several people dead’ as car bomb explodes near presidential palace

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A car bomb has reportedly exploded at a security checkpoint in Somalia.

Local media report that several people have died and others have been injured in the blast in Mogadishu, which happened at around 6.15am GMT.

The huge explosion is said to have happened at a security checkpoint near the presidential palace, at the Mogadishu Saidka Junction.

After the blast, black smoke was seen billowing in the air while vehicles were left burnt.

Footage from the scene shows debris scattered across the road, and people standing looking on in horror.

According to a reporter from Anadolu Agency, “at least” four people were killed while several others were wounded.

However, officials have not yet confirmed the number of fatalities – although many casualties are said to be feared.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Security forces were reportedly chasing the car with gunfire before it exploded.

The country has been embroiled in a political crisis in recent days.

A national election, which was due to take place on February 8, failed to go ahead after the country’s leaders could not agree on the ground rules for holding it.

Experts say it has left the nation more vulnerable to security threats.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s term officially expired on Monday, with opposition leaders refusing to recognise him as a president, according to Foreign Policy.

The UN Security Council recently urged Somalia’s leaders to resume dialogue to arrange new elections.

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