A car bomb attack near the parliament building in Somalia's capital Mogadishu killed at least three people and wounded six others on Saturday, a security official and witnesses said.
"A car bomb rammed into a security checkpoint close to the parliament house. There are casualties both death and injuries, but I cannot give you a specific number now as an emergency operation to assist the wounded and secure the area is underway," Abdifitah Omar Halane, a spokesman for the Mogadishu regional administration told VOA.
But Aden Mohamed Hassan, a police officer who was among the first responders, said he saw the dead bodies of two soldiers, a suspected suicide bomber and at least six wounded government soldiers.
“The suicide bomber was apparently targeting a security convoy which returned from a routine city night patrol,” Hassan said.
The attack comes as the first members of the Somalia’s upcoming national parliament were elected in Garowe, the provincial capital of Puntland.
No group has immediately claimed the responsibility of the attack, but it has the hallmarks of al-Shabab, al-Qaida affiliated group.
Al-Shabab was pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union peacekeeping forces in 2011 but has remained a potent antagonist in Somalia, launching frequent suicide attacks on hotels, restaurants, government buildings and African union troops.