Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Death toll from Mogadishu bombings jumps to over 40

Death toll from Mogadishu bombings jumps to over 40

A series of auto bombs detonated in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 23 people, local officials said.

Twin vehicle bombs exploded in the capital within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky, according to an AFP reporter.

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the twin blasts.

The first two blasts took place nearly simultaneously at 4 p.m. outside the Sahafi hotel, while the third came 20 minutes later in the garage of the adjacent Hayat hotel. "The death toll is sure to rise".

Reports from online sources indicate that militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for Friday's triple bombing in Mogadishu.

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards".

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The suicide bombs 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.

Former Somali lawmaker Abdi Barre Jibril said most of the people killed were passersby or passengers in buses or rickshaws.

"I've pulled many dead bodies from the cars", said Mohamed Aden, a witness of the attack.

"This area is always dense and traffic jams are normal".

"Armed members from the Shabab Al-Mujahideen carried (out) a complex attack targeting Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu where senior Somali government officials stay", the militant group said in a statement quoted by a pro-Shabaab website. These Shabaab assaults have forced African Union troops to withdraw from several cities and towns in southern Somalia.

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