A powerful explosion from a truck bomb killed dozens of people in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Residents called it the most potent blast they'd heard in years.
A car bomb exploded outside a hotel on a busy junction in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Saturday, with officials and witnesses fearing many casualties from the unusually large blast. A truck loaded with explosives went off at the entrance of a hotel, according to security sources.
At least 20 people have reportedly been killed and more than a dozen injured, according to police.
"The death toll will surely rise. We are still busy transporting casualties," said Abdullahi Nur, a police officer who was in the area, adding that there were bodies under the rubble.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein, another officer at the site, said the blast occurred as security forces were trailing the truck that had raised suspicions.
The attack occurred two days after the head of the US Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president. It also happened two days after the country's defense minister and army chief both resigned. The US forces have stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabab.
The militants are fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country. Al-Shabab recently intensified attacks on army bases in the south and central Somalia. But there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Saturday's blast.
fm/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)