A powerful car bomb attack targeting the convoy of a top Somali police chief has killed at least eight people in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The explosives-laden vehicle struck the convoy of Farhan Mohamud, the Banadir regional police commissioner, at a busy intersection on Saturday.
“The commissioner is unharmed but there are other casualties the attack inflicted,” said police spokesman Sadiiq Dudishe.
"The objective of the terrorists was to get rid of the targeted police commander, other officers with him and any other civilian bystanders."
“The whole area is messed up with smoke as the blast caused fire and I saw several dead bodies most of them civilians,” said a witness by the name of Osman Adan.
Hassan Sayid Ali, a driver, told Reuters that he had seen "eight dead bodies at the scene including a woman."
Mohamed Nur, a doctor at the Medina hospital, said the death toll “is bigger as some of the victims were rushed to other hospitals, such as the privately owned ones.”
The al-Shabab terrorist group, which is an ally of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group has been fighting Somalia’s central government for more than a decade, in an attempt to establish its own rule.
The militants frequently carry out gun and bomb attacks against both civilian and military targets.