Big Explosion, Gunfire Near Parliament in Somali Capital

Mogadishu is often a target of attacks by the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

A heavily armed Somali soldier helps seal the area after a car bomb exploded in Mogadishu, Somalia Thursday, March 22, 2018
AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh

Somali police are reporting a large explosion followed by gunfire near parliament headquarters in the capital, Mogadishu.

A huge cloud of smoke can be seen billowing over the area dotted with security checkpoints erected along a road leading to the presidential palace.

The blast comes three days after at least 14 people were killed and 10 others wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel on the busy Makka Almukarramah road.

Mogadishu is often a target of attacks by the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa. A truck bombing in October killed 512 people in the country’s deadliest-ever attack. Only a few attacks since 9/11 have killed more people.