Militants rammed explosives-laden vehicle into security checkpoint outside government building
Al Shabab car bomb kills at least six in Somali capital
Six people were killed and another 16 injured when a car bomb exploded outside a government office in Mogadishu on Monday.
Abdiqadir Abdirahman, director of the city's ambulance service, said 16 others were wounded in the blast.
The attack was claimed by Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-aligned extremist group fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Somalia.
Police officer Ibrahim Mohamed said a vehicle had rammed a security checkpoint outside the Hodan district headquarters and then exploded.
"The blast was huge," he said.
The explosion destroyed buildings and produced a thick plume of smoke which could be seen across the city.
"It caused a huge blast and there was dust everywhere," said Osman Ali, who was in the area.
Images from the scene showed collapsed buildings - including a mosque - with rescue workers and civilians picking through the debris.
Nur Adan, a bystander, said he saw "several dead bodies being recovered from under wreckage" and that the blast destroyed two local mosques.
Active for the last decade, Al Shabab militants regularly carry out bombings and armed assaults on government, military and civilian targets in the Somali capital.
Monday's bombing was the group's second attack in Mogadishu this month. On September 2, an explosion at a district headquarters killed six people when the militants detonated a truck bomb at a security checkpoint.