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At least 5 dead and 23 injured after big explosion that shakes the capital of Somalia: National

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At least five people were killed and 23 others were injured after a large explosion rocked From Somalia Mogadishu, the capital, in the early hours of Thursday, causing a plume of smoke to rise from the blast site amid gunfire, according to officials and a Reuters witness.

“So far we know that five people were killed and 23 others (were) injured,” Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Aamin’s ambulance services, told Reuters.

The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab carried out the attack that targeted a passing United Nations convoy, Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman told Reuters.

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The explosion near the K4 junction in the heart of Mogadishu was so large that it collapsed the walls of the nearby Mucassar primary and secondary school and also wrecked cars.

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“We were rocked by the pressure of the explosion, then we were deafened by the shots that followed,” said Mohamed Hussein, a nurse at nearby Osman Hospital.

He added that he had been pulled from the rubble of a collapsed roof.

“The walls of our hospital collapsed. In front of us is a school that also collapsed. I don’t know how many died, ”he said.

Click to play video: 'At least 7 killed in hotel explosion in Somalia capital'

At least 7 killed in an explosion at a hotel in the capital of Somalia

At least 7 killed in hotel explosion in Somalia capital – August 16, 2020

Security officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Al Shabaab has been fighting the central government of Somalia for years to establish its own government based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law.

The group frequently carries out bombings and firearms assaults in Somalia and elsewhere in its war against the Somali army and the African Union-mandated AMISOM force that helps defend the central government.

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(Report by Abdi Sheikh; written by Elias Biryabarema; edited by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Stephen Coates, and Lincoln Feast.)

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