On Friday, four vehicles equipped with explosive charges were detonated near a hotel and government office in Mogadishu, Somalia. Two of the vehicles detonated first, then the third which was followed by a fourth, that detonated at the time rescue teams arrived on the scene.
At least 20 people were killed and another seven injured, according to the authorities. The well-known Hotel Sahafi and the Criminal Investigations Department were near the area where the explosions occurred.
“Two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi Hotel along the main road,” Ibrahim Mohamed, a police officer, told AFP. The third explosion went off on a busy street, according to the police.
A shopkeeper, Hussein Nur, recounted hearing gunshots along with the explosions. “Gunfire killed several people too,” Nur told Al Jazeera.
Police Captain Mohamed Ahmed confirmed to Reuters that along with at least 20 civilians, six attackers were also killed.
Islamist group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the Adalus radio station. The group has carried out several similar attacks in Somalia, in recent years.
The United Nations (UN) Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) issued a statement concerning the attacks.
“We join the people and the Federal Government of Somalia in condemning this act of terror in no uncertain terms - such reprehensible acts of terrorism will not in any way undermine the determination of the Somali people to pursue their state-building, economic recovery and security priorities. The United Nations and the wider international community stand with them.”