Published: Sat, November 10, 2018

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 within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky.

The hotel is near the headquarters of the Somali Police Force's Criminal Investigations Department (CID). A third blast hit the busy street near the hotel about 20 minutes later, according to witnesses. "The death toll is sure to rise".

The blasts came a day before the first anniversary of a truck bombing that left more than 500 dead in Mogadishu, the worst ever attack in Somalia which was blamed on Al-Shabaab. "Most of these people were civilians who were passing by the area when the attack occurred", Abdulahi Ahmed, a Somali security official, said.

"Most of these people were civilians and almost 20 of them died in minibuses that were passing by the road when the blast occurred", he added.

"There was chaos after the blast".

People rescue a wounded person following three blasts of suicide bomb auto attacks in Mogadishu, on 9 November 2018. The blasts appeared to be suicide bombs that detonated near the perimeter wall of the hotel. "Most of the dead and wounded were civilians", added Awil Mohamed, another witness.

"Two martyrdom operations and a special forces attack on the Sahafi hotel in the center of Mogadishu, where government officers and officials reside, which was adopted by Shabaab", the group's short statement reads.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamists from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group have mounted regular attacks in the capital.

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

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