At least 20 dead after car bombs explode in Somalia’s capital

Somalis carry away an injured civilian who was wounded in a bomb blast near the Sahafi hotel in the capital Mogadishu Somalia

Somalis carry away an injured civilian who was wounded in a bomb blast near the Sahafi hotel in the capital Mogadishu Somalia

A series of auto bombings killed at least 30 people and injured nearly 100 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday afternoon, police and medical officials said.

Abdullahi Mohamed, a police officer in Mogadishu, told Anadolu Agency that three explosions targeted Sahafi Hotel.

Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel's wall but did not succeed in entering, he said. "Minutes later another bomb went off", Mohamed said.

Tension is high in Somalia's Mogadishu after three bomb explosions were reported with heavy gunfire near the CID headquarters, at Sahafi Hotel.

"Two suicide vehicle bombs targeted the hotel located close to criminal investigation department headquarters".

The hotel owner's father had reportedly died in a similar terror attack by jihadists in 2015 at the same hotel.

Mogadishu faces frequent bombings at the hands of Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed Somali government for more than a decade.

"There was chaos after the blast. Many more were wounded", witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.

"So far we have confirmed 17 civilians dead".

"Those who carried out the attack were dressed in police uniform, but they were Al Shabab attackers", he said.

The UN and other foreign countries have condemned the attacks which came barely a month after Somalia marked one year since the October 14, 2017 truck bombing which claimed over 500 lives.

But they still control parts of the countryside and attack the government, military, and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and regional towns.