Double car bomb attack, claimed by al Qaeda-linked group Al Shabab, took place near presidential palace in capital Mogadishu, officials say.
An explosives-packed vehicle detonated at a military checkpoint near Somalia's presidential palace, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 20 others, police said.
The al-Qaida-linked Al Shabab group, which often targets Mogadishu, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Those killed include three staffers from the London-based Universal TV station, including prominent journalist Awil Dahir Salad, said police Capt Mohamed Hussein, who gave the toll of dead and wounded.
"My colleague Awil Dahir Salad died in the blast together with the driver and two security guards. They were killed by the first blast as they drove. May Allah rest their souls," journalist Abdiasis Ibrahim who works for Universal TV, said.
The bomber targeted the checkpoint near the rear entrance of the heavily fortified palace, Hussein said. A lawmaker and a deputy mayor of Mogadishu were among those wounded, he said.
Soldiers also were among the dead, Col Ahmed Mohamud said.
The blast and a second, smaller one nearby appeared to target those heading to work on what was a business day in the Horn of Africa nation.
A plume of smoke rose over the capital as ambulances rushed to the scene.
Al Shabab, in comments broadcast on its Radio Andalus, claimed responsibility for both blasts and said the second was also a car bomb targeting those who had responded to the first.
"At first I saw a vehicle driving to and fro, then we tried to stop people walking here and there, and then in the blink of an eye the vehicle exploded, causing havoc," traffic police officer Mohamed Harun told The Associated Press.
Al Shabab attacks
Al Shabab, the most active group in sub-Saharan Africa, was pushed out of Mogadishu years ago but continues to control large parts of rural southern and central Somalia.
The US military, which partners with Somali forces and a 20,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission, has greatly increased air strikes against Al Shabab under the Trump administration.
At least 47 US strikes have been carried out this year.