Car bomb kills at least two in Somali capital - police
A car bomb exploded near a hotel on a busy street in the Somali capital on Monday, killing at least two people, police said, hours after another blast killed the driver of a minibus who tried to breach a checkpoint.
Police said the blast took place outside the Wehliye Hotel on Maka al Mukaram street.
"So far two civilians have died and two others were injured," Mohamed Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
A Reuters witness at the scene counted five bodies on the ground.
The hotel was left intact, but the explosion damaged a nearby house.
Hours before, a minibus exploded after police shot at it after it refused to stop as it approached a checkpoint in the capital, police officer Nur Osman told Reuters, adding that two people were wounded.
“A policeman at a check point shot at the speeding mini-bus. It exploded and killed the al Shabaab fighter that drove it," he said.
In the past al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab have claimed responsibility for gun, grenade and bomb attacks in Somalia, and tends to focus on Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.
(Reporting by Abdirahman Hussein and Abdi Sheikh; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Toby Chopra)