A suicide car bomb killed at least eight people in the Somali capital on Saturday at a street junction near the president’s palace, police said, and al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said it was behind the attack which targeted a convoy going into the palace.

Police spokesperson Abdifatah Aden Hassan told reporters at the scene of the blast the casualties could be higher, since some of the dead and wounded had been taken away by their relatives.

“Al Shabaab is behind the blast. They killed eight people including a soldier and a mother and two children. Al Shabaab massacres civilians,” he said.

Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, the government spokesperson, said among those killed was Hibaq Abukar, an advisor of women and human rights affairs in Prime Minister Mohammed Hussein Roble’s office.

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