Somali capital Mogadishu rocked by huge explosion: Witnesses

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At least 15 injured people were taken to hospital after a wall collapsed in the heart of the city and cars were damaged.

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Witnesses said a massive explosion occurred in the Somali capital Mogadishu early on Thursday, causing a plume of smoke to rise from the blast site amid the sound of gunfire.

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Mohamed Hussain, a nurse at nearby Osman Hospital, told Reuters they were “shaken by the pressure of the explosion, then deaf from the bullets.”

Hussain said he was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed roof. “The walls of our hospital collapsed. There is a school in front of us which also collapsed. I don’t know how many people died,” he said.

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The blast near the K4 junction in the heart of the city caused the walls of nearby schools to collapse and cars were damaged. Amin Ambulance Service told The Associated Press that fifteen injured people had been taken to hospital.

There was no immediate confirmation of the death toll.

Security officials did not release details about the explosion and casualties.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked armed group, said in a statement by its Andalus radio that it targeted Western officials being escorted by the African Union Peace Keeping Convoy (AMISOM).

Al-Shabaab has been fighting Somalia’s central government for years to establish its rule based on its strict interpretation of Sharia law.

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