Tripple Explosion, Heavy Gunfire In Somalia, Mogadishu Near CID Headquarters

Somalis carry away an injured civilian who was wounded in a bomb blast near the Sahafi hotel in the capital Mogadishu Somalia

An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road... more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards", said police official Ibrahim Mohamed.

Twin vehicle bombs detonated in Mogadishu within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later. The police said that guards at Hotel Sahafi and CID officers opened fire after the blasts.

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

A third explosion later hit the busy street, according to witnesses.

"Four militants who attempted to enter the hotel were shot dead by our police and the hotel guards", police captain Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters.

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Witnesses said there were many bodies in the streets. "Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died", Mr Abdiqani said.

The blasts, which occurred within minutes of each other, targeted the Sahafi Hotel and its surroundings.

Sahafi Hotel has been popular with visiting foreigners because of its relative security as well as its view overlooking Mogadishu.

Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.

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