At least 41 killed in suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu
MOOGADISHU - The death toll from a series of car bombings near a popular hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu has jumped to at least 41, police said on Saturday.
Friday's attack was the latest in a wave of bombings by Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed Somali government for over a decade.
Guards at the Sahafi hotel and the adjacent CID office opened fire after two suicide car bombs went off on Friday afternoon, A third explosion from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled "tuk-tuk" vehicle near the hotel also hit the busy street about 20 minutes later.
Police official Ibrahim Mohamed said that information received from various hospitals indicated that the number of dead had reached 41, with another 106 wounded.
"Most of these people were civilians and nearly 20 of them died in minibuses that were passing by the road when the blast occurred," he added.
Another security official, Abdirahman Osman, said that nearly 50 had been confirmed dead so far, although the final number was not yet known.
Officials on Friday had put the death toll at 22.
The militant Islamist group al Shabaab, linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi, which is near the headquarters of Somalia's Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.