Blast heard near mayor's office in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

A blast was heard near the mayor's office in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Sunday, according to a witness who added the explosion was then followed by gunfire.

"As we were in office we were deafened by a blast, we ran away, gunfire followed," Farah Abdullahi, a worker in the mayor's office told Reuters. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.

Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab, however, frequently carries out bombings and gun assaults on targets in Mogadishu and across the country.

The group has been battling Somalia's central government since 2006 as it seeks to topple it and replace it with its own rule that adheres to strict interpretation of Islam's sharia law.

Al Shabaab has particularly stepped up attacks in recent months, which has underscored its resilience after the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud launched an offensive against the al-Qaeda-allied fighters in August 2022.

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