(Adds witness quotes)
BOSASSO, Somalia, Dec 5 (Reuters) - A car bomb struck an armed convoy carrying local security forces in northern Somalia on Thursday, witnesses said.
A Reuters witness saw five bodies lying motionless on the ground after the attack in the city of Bosasso, though it was not clear if they were dead. Two cars were ablaze as bursts of gunfire rang out.
"The car bomb targeted a convoy of cars," said shopkeeper Hussein Nur. "I could see victims being carried away."
The semi-autonomous region of Puntland, where Bosasso is located, has largely escaped the worst of the upheaval in Somalia but local officials have expressed concern that Islamist militants were hiding in the mountains outside Bosasso.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Islamist al Shabaab militants have carried out a series of similar attacks in Somalia over the past year. (Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Trevelyan)