Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Mogadishu blast: explosion reported in Somalia's capital

A large funnel of smoke and dust billowed into the sky

Smoke billows from a suspected explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia. EPA
Smoke billows from a suspected explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia. EPA

An explosion near Somalia's old parliament building in Mogadishu sent smoke and dust billowing into the sky on Wednesday, local news outlets reported.

The blast happened in the south-east of the city, in Mogadishu's old town and near the coast, according to a member of Somalia's parliament.

Abdirizak Mohamed, the former minister of internal security and an MP, said two members of parliament fleeing the explosion sought shelter in his house. One of them lost a member of staff and another was taken to hospital, he wrote on Twitter.

Somalia's old parliament building is opposite the "Monument of the Unknown Soldier" where other reports said the blast took place.

Pictures showed the aftermath of a blast, with smoke rising into the air..

It is not clear who is responsible for the bombing and there has been no official confirmation.

Car bombs and suicide attacks are a relatively frequent occurrence in Mogadishu, which is battling an insurgency from militant group Al Shabab with the help of an international task force.

Attackers often go after ministries or hotels in the Somali capital.

Updated: May 22, 2019 03:09 PM

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