Mogadishu, Feb 4: Twelve people were killed, while several others have been hospitalised in deadly car blast in Mogadishu on Monday, police said.
"We found more bodies under the rubble and the death toll now stands at 12. We don't know if there will be other bodies but we are trying to recover those missing," a police officer who requested on anonymity told Xinhua.
The blast, which occurred at the entrance of Mogadishu shopping mall in Hamarwayne district, also destroyed many buildings nearby.
Aamin Ambulance driver Ahmed Said told Xinhua that they had carried nine bodies and seven injured people.
"The blast was so huge and we have seen huge smoke rising above the site of the explosion," a witness, Sumaya Farah.
The militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, saying its fighters targeted a key meeting near the shopping mall.
On June 29, a car filled with explosives detonated in the same district, killing at least two people and injured five others.
The bombing on Monday came amid major operations staged by Somali national forces against the al-Qaida-affiliated group in central and southern Somalia.
Somali National Armed Forces, backed by African Union Mission in Somalia, ousted al-Shabab from Mogadishu in August 2011, but the terror group is still in control of some areas in central and southern Somalia and capable of conducting attacks. (UNI)