A loud explosion, suspected to be a car bomb blast, was heard in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Monday morning, followed by heavy gunfire. "The blast takes place at the first checkpoint on the K4 road that leads to Mogadishu airport. We have no details so far," shopkeeper Farah Hussein told Reuters.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the al Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgent group al Shabaab frequently launches large attacks in Somalia.
The country in the Horn of Africa has been riven by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator, then turned on each other.