At least nine dead in Somalia car bomb

At least nine people have died in a suicide car bombing in Mogadishu.
At least nine people have died in a suicide car bombing in Mogadishu.

Islamic extremists have exploded a suicide car bomb near the presidential palace in Somalia's capital of Mogadishu, killing at least nine people, including former Foreign Minister Hussein Elabe Fahiye.

Captain Mohamed Hussein told The Associated Press an additional 13 people were wounded and most of the casualties were soldiers.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the blast, saying it targeted vehicles carrying government officials.

The car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near the presidential palace as soldiers were conducting security checks on vehicles on the main road. A white column of smoke rose over the seaside city as gunfire rang out.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab frequently carries out such blasts in the capital near the presidential compound and at hotels.

Fahiye remained an adviser to current president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

At UN headquarters in New York, Somali Ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman paid tribute to Fahiye, saying: "We are more determined to fight the menace of faceless, borderless international terrorism."

He told a UN Security Council meeting on Somalia that "al-Shabab continues to be a threat undermining our efforts to deliver security."

Australian Associated Press