MOGADISHU, Somalia – Four car bombs of Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital Mogadishu, killed at least 20 people and injured 17, police said.
After the three explosions in front of the hotel was a fourth blast hit as the medics tried to save the injured.
The suicide bomber detonated near the perimeter of Sahafi Hotel, located across the street from the Somali police investigation department, said captain Mohamed Hussein.
Some of the victims burned without recognition when a car bomb exploded next to a minibus, he said.
Somali security forces killed four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel’s wall but failed to get in, he said.
“Although they failed to access the hotel, the storms outside the hotel killed many people,” Hussein said.
“The street was full of people and cars, bodies were everywhere,” said Hussein Nur, a business owner who suffered from slight injury on his right hand side. “Gunfire also killed several people.”
Somali Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs according to the group’s Adalus radio station.
Among the dead was the head of Sahafi Hotel, whose father was the owner of the hotel before being killed in an al-Shabab attack on the establishment in 2015, police Capt. Hussein.
Guled reported from Nairobi, Kenya.