18 killed in Mogadishu blasts

Somalia
A huge cloud of smoke could be seen in the sky. Photo credit: Getty

Twin car bombs in Somalia's capital Mogadishu have killed 18 people and wounded 20 others, the capital's ambulance services says.

There were also reports of gunfire following the blasts.

"So far we carried 18 dead people and 20 others injured from the blasts tonight," Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the incidents. In the past, al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab insurgents have claimed responsibility for bombings and gun attacks in the capital.

"We understand it is a suicide car bomb near the presidential palace area. Then another blast followed, with gunfire. It is too early to know details and target," Major Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters.

A huge cloud of smoke could be seen in the sky and gunfire continued near the President's residence, a Reuters witness said.

Police and witnesses said the second blast was also a car bomb that was parked in front of a hotel away from the palace.

Reuters