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Somalia: several killed in Mogadishu truck bomb

Somalia: several killed in Mogadishu truck bomb

More than 20 people were killed Saturday by a powerful auto bomb in front of a hotel in a commercial hub frequented the center of Mogadishu, Somalia, have announced the police and the emergency services. A hotel apparently was targeted.

A BBC Somali reporter in the area said the hotel, which authorities believe was the target, collapsed after the explosion.

According to witnesses, the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) has gone off at busy intersection, Zoobe Area in downtown Mogadishu, sending volumes of smoke to the sky.

Bodies and bloodied slippers and shoes littered the roadway. Witnesses said the truck was sitting in a traffic jam when the driver detonated the bomb. Windows were shattered for blocks around the epicenter of the carnage.

The attack occurred two days after the head of the US Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president.

About two hours later, a second blast took place in the city's Madina district.

"It was a auto bomb". After the explosion, the police captain told Reuters that it was a truck bomb and that there are casualties but that they did not know the exact amount since the scene was still burning.

The attack has not been claimed in the immediate future, but the islamist somali shebab linked with Al-Qaeda launching frequent attacks and suicide bombings in Mogadishu and its surroundings. The prime minister's office announced the resignation of Abdullahi and army chief Ahmed Mohamed Jimale Irfid on Thursday.

The U.S. military has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against the group.

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