Suicide car bomb attack targets Mogadishu's police commissioner, killing at least nine people and wounding many others, health official says.
A large explosion in Somalia's capital has killed at least nine people and wounded eight others, a health official said.
Dr Mohamed Nur at the Medina Hospital told reporters on Saturday that the toll reflected only the dead and wounded who were taken to the facility in Mogadishu where he works.
"I am sure the number is bigger as some of the victims were rushed to other hospitals, such as the privately owned ones," he said.
A Somali police spokesman said Mogadishu's police commissioner, Colonel Farhan Mohamud Qaroleh, was the target of the attack but he was safe.
"A suicide car bomber with heavy explosives plotted by the terrorist group Al Shabab has targeted the Mogadishu police commissioner," police spokesman Sadiq Adam Ali said.
"They hit the vehicle of the Mogadishu police commissioner."
Al Shabab claims responsibility
Al Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement the blast killed and wounded a "large number" of the police chief's guards and destroyed multiple vehicles.
Mire Adan, who was a few metres from the scene, said the explosion "caused huge devastation and casualties of both police and civilians".
"The whole area is messed up with smoke as the blast caused fire and I saw several dead bodies most of them civilians," another witness Osman Adan said.
Tuk-tuk driver Muktar Ganey was lucky to be alive, saying he missed Saturday's blast, because he was held up in traffic
It was the second such large explosion in the city this month.
A blast targeting a teashop killed at least 10 people last week.
Last month, a suicide bomb attack at a military base in Mogadishu killed at least 15 people.
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