The official said the driver had failed to enter the hotel compound and instead hit a military pickup parked outside as a barrier.
“So far we know of seven people who died, mostly civilians, but the death toll may rise,” said Major Ali Umar. “Over a dozen others were injured, mostly Somali military personnel.”
A medic at Galkayo hospital said it had received over 30 wounded as a result of the explosion.
The Islamist militant group al Shabab, which is trying to topple the central government, could not be reached for comment.
The group is fighting to seize power and establish a state based on its own harsh interpretation of Islamic law. It controls small sections of the Mudug region, but not Galkayo.
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