Police say suicide car bomber explodes near Mogadishu's port

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Police in Somalia’s capital say a suicide bomber has detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near the port in Mogadishu as thick smoke billows over the area.

Col. Ahmed Ali says the blast occurred near the gates of the motor vehicle imports duty authority headquarters.

The car bomber sped through the first security checkpoint before police officers opened fire at the vehicle which exploded outside the gates, Ismail Mukhtar, spokesman for Somalia’s information ministry, told The Associated Press.

He confirmed that people were injured.

The explosion was heard across Mogadishu. Ambulance sirens wailed, police and a resident said.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group based in Somalia often targets the capital with suicide bombings.