The vehicle had rammed into a security checkpoint before exploding
A suspected car bomb exploded outside a local government office in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday, levelling buildings and leaving an unknown number wounded, police said.
"The blast was huge and the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car loaded with explosives that targeted the Hodan district headquarters," said Officer Ibrahim Mohamed.
He said a vehicle had rammed a security checkpoint then exploded.
"We don't have the exact number of the casualties but there was a collapsed building under which people are injured," he said.
The thick plume of smoke thrown up by the blast could be seen across the city.
"It caused a huge blast and there was dust everywhere," said Osman Ali, who was close to the scene of the explosion.
"I saw four wounded people being rushed to hospital."
Images from the scene showed collapsed buildings -- including a mosque -- with rescue workers and civilians picking through the debris.