A suicide car bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint near Somalia’s parliament and interior ministry in Mogadishu and the city’s ambulance service said three people were killed.
Nur Mohamed, a Mogadishu police officer, told Reuters the bomb went gone off at the heavily guarded Sayidka checkpoint.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Amin ambulances, the city’s sole rescue service, said three people were killed, excluding the bomber and one injured.
A Reuters photographer at the scene saw ruined cars and three-wheeled scooters overturned by the force of the blast.
The al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab claimed responsibility. Al Shabaab carries out bombings and other attacks in Mogadishu in a campaign to topple Somalia’s Western-backed federal government.
“We are behind the attack at the checkpoint from where the president’s palace, parliament house and the interior ministry of the apostate government are guarded,” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s spokesman for military operations.
He said 13 government soldiers were killed, without offering evidence. The group usually claims a higher death toll from its attacks than that of government.
At least 14 people were killed last Thursday when al Shabaab set off a bomb outside a busy Mogadishu hotel.