Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises

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Somalia car bomb attack leaves at least 20 dead, police say

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A series of vehicle bombs detonated in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 23 people, local officials said.

The al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, which took place during the afternoon rush hour on a busy street near a checkpoint that controls access to Mogadishu International Airport, reports Efe news.

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the twin blasts.

Parliament speaker Mohamed Mursal said the attackers deliberately targeted civilians.

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that "more than 10 people died, a lot of them civilians and some security guards".

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Another security official, Abdirahman Osman, told AFP that almost 50 had been confirmed dead so far, although the final number was not yet known.

The death toll from a triple auto bombing in Somalia's capital Mogadishu has risen to 40, including seven terrorists, a senior police officer says.

According to sources in Somalia, the fatalities included the son of the owner of the hotel, Abdirashid Ilqeyte, who was killed in a Shabaab attack on the establishment in November 2015. "Many more were wounded", witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.

The bombs destroyed parts of the hotel perimeter despite layered security, and several shops and other buildings nearby were flattened.

"Two martyrdom operations and a special forces attack on the Sahafi hotel in the center of Mogadishu, where government officers and officials reside, which was adopted by Shabaab", the group's short statement reads.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Islamists from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group have mounted regular attacks in the capital.

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