Somalia: At least 20 dead in Mogadishu blast

Somalia: At least 20 dead in Mogadishu blast

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There are fears people are trapped under the rubble

At least 20 people have been killed in a massive blast that tore through one of the busiest junctions in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

A truck packed with explosives detonated at the entrance of a hotel, security official Mohamed Adan told Reuters news agency.

Police captain Mohamed Hussein said more than 15 were injured, AP reports.

Police officials have warned the death toll may rise. It is not yet known who was behind the blast.

Capt Hussein earlier confirmed to Reuters: “It was a truck bomb. It exploded at the K5 Junction. There are casualties but we do not know the exact amount as the scene is still burning.”

A BBC Somali reporter at the scene said the Safari Hotel had collapsed, with people thought to be trapped under the rubble.

It is unclear how many, but witnesses told the BBC they believed dozens of people were dead.

Images from the scene show the area has been completely destroyed, while Mogadishu resident Muhidin Ali told news agency AFP it was “the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area”.

Mogadishu is a regular target for the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab group, which is battling the Somali government.

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