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Explosion and gunfire rocks Somali capital near parliament

Mogadishu is often the target of attacks by the extremist group al-Shabab.

Somali police have reported a large explosion followed by gunfire near parliament headquarters in the capital, Mogadishu.

A huge cloud of smoke can be seen billowing over the area dotted with security checkpoints erected along a road leading to the presidential palace.

The blast comes three days after at least 14 people were killed and 10 others wounded in a car bomb blast near the Weheliye hotel on the busy Makka Almukarramah road.

Mogadishu is often targeted by the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa.

A truck bombing in October killed 512 people in the country’s deadliest-ever attack.

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