“Eight civilians were killed and 17 injured in the blastSomali police spokesperson Abdifatah Adan said in a brief statement that provided no further details.
Another head of the security services, Mohamed Abdillahi, told AFP that it was about the explosion of a car bomb near a school, which had notably injured eleven students.
“We don’t know who the target of the attack was“, added the official, who had initially mentioned the death of five people.
According to witnesses interviewed by AFP, a military convoy of Amisom, the African Union (AU) force in Somalia, was passing through the area at the time of the explosion.
“I was standing not far from where the car exploded and a Amisom convoy was passing by.“Said Ibrahim, a resident of the neighborhood, told AFP.
The jihadist group of the Shebab, linked to Al-Qaeda, quickly claimed responsibility for the attack which, according to them, was aimed at “military instructors“.
“The school building was seriously damaged and school transport buses were hit“Ahmed Bare, a security guard stationed nearby, told AFP.
The director of the Aamin ambulance service in the Somali capital, Abdikadir Abdirahman, posted photos of the site of the explosion on Twitter, citing a “tragedy“.
The car bomb attack – the third of its kind in a few weeks – comes five days after the shebab assassination in Mogadishu on Saturday of a prominent Somali journalist.
Director of the public radio station Radio Mogadishu and outspoken critic of the jihadists, Abdiaziz Mohamud Guled was a long-time target of the Shebab. He was killed by a suicide bomber who blew himself up near him on a street in the Somali capital.
Although expelled from Mogadishu in 2011, the shebab regularly carry out attacks there as part of their insurgency launched in 2007 to overthrow the fragile federal government, supported at arm’s length by the international community.
In September, two car bomb attacks claimed by the Shebab left 17 people dead in the Somali capital.
The first, on September 14, killed nine soldiers at a Somali army checkpoint.
The second had targeted a convoy near the presidential palace on September 25 and killed eight people, including Hibaaq Abukar Hassan, the Prime Minister’s adviser for women and human rights, trapped in a car set on fire by the explosion.