20 killed by vehicle bombs in Somali capital

20 killed by vehicle bombs in Somali capital

"Minutes later another bomb went off", Mohamed said.

The death toll may rise as still missing.

Four auto bombs by Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, on Friday afternoon.

Witnesses further stated that both CID officers and security forces in the Hotel Sahafi, after seeing the initial explosion, opened fire.

Witnesses also said the first blast hit the wall of the Hotel Sahafi, the second vehicle with explosives detonated between the hotel and criminal investigations department (CID) and the third auto blew up on a small street behind the hotel. The militants attempting to storm the hotel were however thwarted by security forces who killed the four attackers.

More news: Nationalism risks a tragic path, Macron warns superpowers

"We are getting (information that) about 20 people died in the attack and more than 40 others were wounded".

Abdirashid had inherited the hotel from his father who was killed in a similar attack in 2015.

An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road... more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards", said police official Ibrahim Mohamed. "I could see people screaming as they fled the buses", witness Fadumo Ali told AFP on Friday.

The Somali terror group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place on Friday on a busy street near a checkpoint that controls access to Mogadishu International Airport.

"Those who carried out the attack were dressed in police uniform, but they were Al Shabab attackers", he said. These Shabaab assaults have forced African Union troops to withdraw from several cities and towns in southern Somalia.

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