GUNFIRE Guards at Hotel Sahafi and CID officers opened fire after the blasts
10 November, 2018, 11:42
Four auto bombs by Islamic extremists exploded outside a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 20 people and injuring 17, said police.
Abdiasisi Abu Musab, al Shabaab's spokesman for military operations, said the group had singled out the Sahafi for attack because of its association with the government the Islamists want to overthrow.
An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi Hotel along the main road", Ibrahim Mohamed, police official, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency. The head of a local ambulance service tells VOA his company transported 45 wounded people to the hospital.
Somali security forces shot dead four gunmen who tried to storm through a hole blown into the hotel's wall but did not succeed in entering, he said.
A witness who was inside the hotel at the time said on condition of anonymity that the front of the building was destroyed by the force of the explosions, which blew out windows.
Abdifatah Abdirashid, who took over the Sahafi from his father after he was killed in a militant attack in 2015, was among those who died in Friday's attack, said Mohamed Abdiqani, a witness at the hotel.
The dead body of an unidentified man is seen at the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia, Nov. 9, 2018. "Gunfire killed several people, too".
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