Three car bombs by Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 10 people and injuring 15, said police.
The blasts appeared to be suicide bombs that detonated near the perimeter wall of the Sahafi Hotel, which is located across the street from the Somali Police Force’s Criminal Investigations Department, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein.
Some of the victims were burned beyond recognition when one car bomb exploded next to a minibus, he said.
“The street was crowded with people and cars, bodies were everywhere,” said Hussein Nur, a shopkeeper who suffered light shrapnel injuries on his right hand. “Gunfire killed several people too.”
Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole in the hotel’s wall but did not succeed in entering, he said.
There could be significant casualties from the explosions, said Hussein. Witnesses said there are many bodies in the street.
Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the bombs, according to the group’s Adalus radio station.
Guled reported from Nairobi, Kenya.