The car, which was packed with explosives, was parked in front of shops near the headquarters of the city’s local government.
“Five civilians, including two school children, were killed in the blast which was caused by a car parked there, and seven others were wounded,” said the spokesman, Abdifatah Omar Halane.
“The explosion was caused by a car loaded with explosives,” police officer Ibrahim Mohamed said.
Witnesses said two children were among those killed.
“I saw several people, some of them dead, and among them were two children,” said local resident Muhsin Abdirahman.