Mogadishu: A car bomb exploded near a checkpoint in Somalia capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding 12 others, officials said.
The bombing was claimed by Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, which said in a statement it had targeted a convoy escorting officials and lawmakers heading to the presidential palace.
"A car bomb blast struck at a checkpoint near Daljirka, there are some casualties including members of the security forces," said security official Abdukadir Ahmed after the attack in the south of the city.
Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Aamin ambulance service told AFP two people were killed and twelve others wounded in the blast.
Other witnesses said they had seen three killed.
"I saw the bodies of three people among them a military woman," said witness Mohamed Saney.
"Several vehicles were destroyed in the blast and ambulances rushed to the scene to collect wounded people." Shabaab fighters have been fighting for more than a decade to topple the government. They fled positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since lost many of their strongholds.
But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.