Militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in Mogadishu that police say killed at least 17 people, including the assailant.
“A suicide bomber drove the rigged car into a security checkpoint … at the highway road leading to the airport,” police officer Ahmed Bashane told German news agency dpa.
“We have collected and confirmed the bodies of 17, including the suicide bomber,” he said.
Many of those killed were civilians, Bashane said, adding that the death toll could rise as about 28 other people were also wounded in the attack.
The blast caused massive damage to businesses next to the highway, and thick black smoke engulfed the area.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility via its radio Andalus.
The group, which wants to establish an Islamist state in Somalia, regularly launches attacks on government buildings, hotels and restaurants in the volatile nation in the Horn of Africa.
The US is supporting Somali forces as well as soldiers from the African Union in the fight against al-Shabab, which is affiliated with the international al-Qaeda terrorist network.
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