4 car bombs out­side ho­tel kill at least 20

San Francisco Chronicle - - WORLD - By Farah Abdi and Abdi Guled Farah Abdi and Abdi Guled are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

MO­GADISHU, So­ma­lia — Four car bombs by Is­lamic ex­trem­ists ex­ploded out­side a ho­tel in the cap­i­tal, Mo­gadishu, Fri­day af­ter­noon killing at least 20 peo­ple and in­jur­ing 17, said po­lice.

Af­ter the three ex­plo­sions in front of the ho­tel, a fourth blast hit as medics at­tempted to res­cue the in­jured.

The sui­cide bombs det­o­nated near the perime­ter wall of the Sa­hafi Ho­tel, which is lo­cated across the street from the So­mali Po­lice Force’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Depart­ment, said Capt. Mo­hamed Hus­sein.

Some of the vic­tims were burned be­yond recog­ni­tion when one car bomb ex­ploded next to a minibus, he said.

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.

“Al­though they failed to ac­cess the ho­tel, the blasts out­side the ho­tel killed many peo­ple,” said Hus­sein.

“The street was crowded with peo­ple and cars, bod­ies were ev­ery­where,” said Hus­sein Nur, a shop­keeper who suf­fered light shrap­nel in­juries on his right hand. “Gun­fire killed sev­eral peo­ple, too.”

So­ma­lia’s Is­lamic ex­trem­ist rebels, the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab, claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bombs, ac­cord­ing to the group’s Adalus ra­dio sta­tion.

Among the dead was the man­ager of the Sa­hafi Ho­tel, whose fa­ther was the owner of the ho­tel be­fore he was killed in an al-Shabab at­tack on es­tab­lish­ment in 2015, said po­lice Capt. Hus­sein.

Ab­di­razak Hus­sein Farah / AFP / Getty Images

Two men res­cue a wounded per­son fol­low­ing four sui­cide car bomb at­tacks in So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal of Mo­gadishu. The al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab rebel group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bomb­ings.

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