By Mohammed Dhaysane
At least three people were killed -- including two al-Shabaab attackers -- and several others wounded when a double car bomb blast rocked the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, police said.
Abdirahman Hassan, a police sergeant in Mogadishu, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that the first car bomb went off at a security checkpoint near the presidential palace followed by a gun battle.
"The first bomb detonated a security checkpoint near the presidential palace, where security forces also prevented al-Shabaab attackers from entering the SYL hotel, and minutes later another car bomb exploded nearby,” he said.
He added that the total number of casualties unclear, but that three people, including two al-Shabaab attackers, were killed, he added.
Local media reported that more than eight people, including soldiers, were wounded in the attack.
The Somali-based insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that its militants had attacked the presidential palace and SYL hotel in Mogadishu.
Saturday's attack comes a week after al-Shabaab attacked Somalia's Interior Ministry building in Mogadishu, killing at least nine people, including two ministry officials.