At least eleven people were killed in a large explosion near a mall in Mogadishu on Monday, a police officer told dpa, as militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Thick white smoke could be seen rising from the area around the mall, which hosts banks, shops, and other businesses in Hamar Weyne district.

Police officer Ahmed Baashane told dpa the explosion was caused by a car bomb, but it was unclear whether a suicide bomber was involved.

‘A huge car bomb went off at a parking lot near Mogadishu shopping mall,’ he said.

‘The latest death toll we have, suggests that up to 11 innocent people were killed in the blast,’ he added.

A pro-Al-Shabaab website,, cited an unnamed Al-Shabaab official claiming responsibility for the attack.