Somali security forces walk through the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu Image Credit: Reuters

Nairobi: Update: At least nine people were killed and several wounded when a car loaded with explosives blew up near a mall in a busy market in the Somali capital on Monday, police said.

"The blast occured close to Mogadishu mall and it has caused death and destruction. Nine civilians were confirmed dead and several others are wounded," police officer Ahmed Moalin Ali said.

A Somali police officer says at least seven people died in a powerful car bomb explosion in Somalia's capital Monday.

Capt. Mohamed Hussein said at least nine people were also injured in the blast by an explosives-laden car parked near a mall close to Mogadishu's local government offices, in Mogadishu's Hamarweyne district.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, however, such attacks are frequently carried out by Somalia's Islamic extremists rebels, al-Shabab, who are linked to al-Qaida.

Despite being ousted from the capital and most urban centers in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to carry out deadly suicide attacks in Somalia and neighboring countries.

Mohamed said the market was near Mogadishu's municipality buildings.

Al Qaeda affiliated group was largely driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and has lost many of its strongholds. But it retains control of large rural swathes of the country and continues to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.