17 people were killed and eight others injured in an explosion on Thursday outside a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Security, Abdiaziz Ali Ibrahim, told the media that the wounded were being treated at the city’s hospitals.

“17 people died including a young girl, some workers and persons having tea at roadside teashops popularly known as bibiito,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He said a tricycle taxi, locally known as bajaaj, may have been used for the explosion.

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The blast occurred opposite one of Mogadishu’s oldest lodges, the Weheliye Hotel, along the busy Maka al-Mukarrama Avenue.

The jihadist Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility.

The group carries out frequent attacks in Mogadishu as it seeks to overthrow the internationally recognised Somali government.

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