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The deadly blast has hit the Somali capital Mogadishu: Witnesses News

At least five people have been killed and 23 others injured in an explosion claimed by the al-Shabab-linked armed group Al-Qaeda.

At least five people have been killed in a massive explosion that shook the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses and authorities said.

The blast on Thursday morning sparked a plume of smoke near the K4 junction in the heart of the city, witnesses said they heard gunshots.

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

Mohamed Hussein, a nurse at a nearby Osman hospital, told Reuters that “they were shaken by the pressure of the blast, and then, if shot, deaf.”

Hussein said he was pulled from the rubble of a fallen ceiling. “The walls of our hospital collapsed. A school in front of us also fell. I don’t know how many were killed, ”he said.

The blast collapsed the walls of nearby schools and left cars damaged.

The Somali armed group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. Sheikh Abdiasis, a spokesman for the military operations of the Abu Musab group, told Reuters that the blast was aimed at a United Nations convoy.

An armed group linked to al-Qaeda said in a statement released on its Andalus radio that peacekeepers from the African Union were escorted after Western officials.

Al-Shabab has been fighting against the Somali central government for years to establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of sharia law.

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