Three people were killed in a suicide car bombing by Islamist group al Shabaab which hit a European Union armoured convoy in Mogadishu, police and an emergency service worker said.
The blast struck the convoy on Industrial Road, a major thoroughfare in the heart of the city.
“We carried two dead locals and four others injured,” Abdikadir Abdirahman of AMIN Ambulance Services told Reuters.
Police said the bomber died in the blast.
A Reuters witness saw men towing a damaged vehicle after the explosion hit its rear end. The armoured vehicles carried Italian and EU flags.
The al Shabaab group, which frequently carries out attacks in the Horn of Africa country, claimed responsibility.
The Italian military said a convoy of five vehicles returning from a training exercise were attacked but no one was wounded or killed.
“The vehicle, with four soldiers on board, was lightly damaged and able to return to base,” it said.
Al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab wants to topple Somalia’s Western-backed central government and impose its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.
The European Union is a major source of funding for the African Union-mandated peace-keeping force AMISOM which helps defend Somalia’s central government against the Islamists.
Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since the early 1990s after the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.