At least 23 people were killed and several others wounded on Friday in triple car bombings in the Somali capital, emergency officials said.
Abdullahi Mohamed, a police officer in Mogadishu, told Anadolu Agency that three explosions targeted Sahafi Hotel. They were followed by gunfire.
“Two suicide car bombs targeted the hotel located close to criminal investigation department headquarters. Minutes later another bomb went off,“ Mohamed said.
The fatalities include soldiers, civilians and business-people, he added.
The wounded were rushed to the hospital.
Ahmad Zakariya, a rescue worker, said the death toll reached 23, including nine al-Shabaab militants.
According to the official news agency of Somalia, six of the attackers were killed by security forces, while three suicide bombers blew themselves up.
Sahafi is a popular hotel located on the busy KM4 street and frequented by Somali government officials.
Somali-based insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned the attack, reiterating its stance against “all forms of violent extremism and terrorism”.
OIC’s Secretary General Yousef Al-Othaimeen said that OIC is in “solidarity with the Somalian government in its war against terrorism.”
By Mohamed Dhaysane and Nour Gelle Gedi