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Car bomb outside hotel kills at least eight in Somali capital

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MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A car bomb exploded near a hotel and restaurant in the Somali capital on Thursday, killing at least eight people, police said.

The afternoon explosion on a busy road in Mogadishu sent a huge could of smoke into the sky and destroyed two restaurants and cars parked in the area. A Reuters witness at the scene counted six dead bodies.

“So far we know at least eight people died and a dozen others were injured,” police Major Mohamed Hussein told Reuters.

“The blast destroyed a restaurant and killed many who were inside and outside the restaurant. The death toll may rise,” he added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants have in the past targeted the same location, the Wehliye Hotel, which is along the busy Maka al Mukaram road.

On Saturday, 15 people were killed in two explosions and a gunfight between al Shabaab militants and security personnel in central Mogadishu.

(Reporting by reporting by Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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