At least three people were killed and seven others injured after a car bomb exploded Saturday in the Somali capital Mogadishu, according to reports. Police reportedly said that the death toll from the explosion, which was followed by gunfire, is likely to rise.
Eyewitnesses told the BBC that they saw a cloud of smoke rising from the site at the crowded Shaqalaha junction in the capital. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants have often carried out similar attacks.
"The place is busy with hotels and supermarkets. Most of the casualties are pedestrians. The casualty number is sure to rise," Police Major Nur Farah told Reuters.
The Islamist militant group al-Shabab has carried out several attacks on the road in the last few weeks, with the latest being last month only that claimed the lives of 15 people.
Al-Shabab, which still controls many rural parts of southern Somalia, has been weakened by African forces and U.S. drone strikes in recent years. However, the group, which ruled much of Somalia until 2011 but was overpowered by military forces, still continues to be active in the region.