At least 17 people died when suicide bombers set off two car bombs at a hotel near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department in Mogadishu on Friday. A third explosion took place on the street minutes later, Reuters reported.
Guards at Hotel Sahafi and the CID headquarters opened fire following the first two blasts.
“So far we have confirmed 17 civilians dead,” Ali Nur, a police officer in Mogadishu told the agency. “They were travelling in public vehicles at the scene when the blasts and gunfire occurred. The death toll is sure to rise.”
A Reuters photographer saw 20 bodies as well as several destroyed vehicles at the scene of the incident.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Al-Shabaab Islamist group has been involved in attacks in Mogadishu over the past year. At least 17 people were killed after two car bombs went off on October 28, 2017, and Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. On October 14, 2017, blasts in Mogadishu had killed at least 358 people.